Change

As I sit here in the last week of 2016 I can’t help but reflect on how things have changed this year. For those of you who don’t know me well, I started the year working in a hospital and studying to finish a Bachelor’s degree in Radiologic Sciences. I don’t think that on January 1 Haley Hoover was 100% sure she’d be spending a considerable amount of time in Australia either. But time passed, things changed and here we are. Haley and I both stepped out of our comfort zones and took chances. I couldn’t be happier.

When I interviewed for this job one of the first questions they asked me was if I knew for sure that I needed to change careers before it even took off. Trust me, I had thought of that well before I sat down at that interview. I worked really hard, sacrificed family time and spent a lot of stressful hours working toward a career in radiology. However, I am also smart enough to know that I am not ultimately in control of my life. Yes, I can make a lot of decisions that alter its course but sometimes things are put in our path by someone other than man.

You see, I had considered this Chamber Lady gig before and never felt it was the right time. Either I was pregnant or some other “thing” was happening that wouldn’t allow me to give it my all. This time was different. The timing in 2016 meant I could come to work and go home in the same town. It meant that even though I do work longer hours occasionally, I wouldn’t have to continue sacrificing my time with my husband and daughter the way I had been. It meant that I was probably mature enough to understand better how my community works and what it might need but to also be humble enough to not know these things and when to shut up and listen to someone else.

I knew deep down that it was time to give this a try. Even though I tried to come up with reasons it might not work, deep down I knew. It also helped that my “deep down” voice was sounding oddly like Lance Bohannon with a lot of rational arguments as to why I could and should try this. (I hope I’m not the only person whose inner monologue sometimes sounds like Lance!)

I’m telling you all this so you’ll understand that I really, really work hard at this job and believe in the work I do. I may not always make the right decision but the decisions I make are with Frederick in mind. I come to work every day hoping that what I do might help a business, bring a new family to town or encourage growth in some small way. I believe in Frederick and its people. I believe that when we work together we can eclipse any problem that gets in our way.

Times are hard and some things may not seem in our favor but if we work together then I truly believe we can help our community prosper. I’m not naïve enough to think it will be easy because it won’t. It’s going to take some creative thinking and potentially scary change to keep Frederick growing and becoming more economically sufficient. I’ll say it again, I believe in Frederick and its people.

Let’s come together and make 2017 a great year for Frederick.

Don’t Forget: Be Kind. Be Heard. Be Local.

Felisha Crawford,
Executive Director

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Events, Events and more Events!

To say that there is a lot going on in Frederick is an understatement of ginormous proportions. (And yes, I know I used a made up word there!) My calendar looks like it was assaulted by an ink pen, my alarm on my phone is constantly going off as a reminder of where I’m supposed to be and honestly, I’m tired. But let me also tell you how thankful I am for those three things. We live in a community in which things are happening….events are being held and school activities are beginning to take off in high gear. What a great time to be in Frederick Oklahoma!

Football and girls softball are well underway within Frederick Public Schools, I’m not going to even try to tell you when all the different games are, there are just too many. You can however pick up one of those handy dandy multi fold schedules that the Quarterback Club distributes at many places around town or you get head to the school’s website for more information. www.frederickbombers.net

SW Oklahoma Youth Sports Association has soccer practices starting and games set to begin soon. I encourage you to attend those games whether you have a kid or grandkid playing in one. They are so much fun to watch, these kids practice hard and play hard! In addition to soccer, the Frederick Quarterback Club has begun its 3FL flag football league. Again, another activity I hope you go to watch. These young men and women work very hard to be the best they can be and the applause from the crowd helps to motivate them to keep on. Both organizations have Facebook pages which list schedules once they are put together or you can visit with any member of either SWOYSA or the Quarterback Club for more information.

The Tillman County Free Fair will also be underway September 8-10. You can find a copy of the schedule on the Chamber’s webpage at www.frederickokchamber.org, on the Tillman County Free Fair Facebook page or at the OSU Extension office on the first floor of the Courthouse. The fair will play host to the many hard working young men and women who show livestock, those who create art or baked goods, the Little Mr. & Miss TC Free Fair as well as many booths from local businesses and vendors. If you’d like a booth give the Extension office a call at 580-335-2515, it’s a great way to attract customers or get the word out about your business while supporting a wonderful tradition in Tillman County.

And last but certainly not least is Arts ‘N Action. For me this is always the weekend that I realize we have survived the heat of the summer and that fall is on its way. Visiting with friends and family on the Courthouse lawn, looking at beautiful art while eating some delicious food is what I consider a great day. If you are an artist or food vendor give Karen Caldwell a call at 580-305-5287, if you are an entertainer give Cacy Caldwell a call at 580-335-1499. The Frederick Arts & Humanities Council also encourages you to help “chair” the event by decorating chairs for your property. It’s a fun way to spruce up the community while peaking the interest of those who pass through town. We’ve done these kinds of things before with the Arts Show, OK Freewheel as well as the Smithsonian New Harmonies exhibit and each time folks passing through town stopped to find out what was going on. Do you know what happens when folks stop to ask what’s going on? They usually spend money! And speaking of money, two tickets to the Kyle Dillingham concert in October will be awarded to the best chair so get them decorated and out around September 1.

This is a pretty long list of activities to participate in and it is by no means all of them. Find your niche, find a new thing but just make sure you find your way to as many activities as you can in Frederick!

Don’t Forget: Be Kind. Be Heard. Be Local.

Felisha Crawford,
Executive Director

What’s your “thing”?

I’m writing this article with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. Now some of you, mostly the male some of you’s, are thinking this is nothing new to you as you’ve seen the women in your life this way before. Some of you, the female some of you’s, are thinking about what my mascara must look like right now. The rest of you are thinking I might be a little off my rocker….no comment to that.

You see it’s time to start planning the annual Teacher Appreciation Luncheon for the educators in Frederick. It’s a great moment to honor them all, have a little fun and share a meal together. I have enjoyed the opportunity to participate for several years as a school board member but now I get to experience the planning part as the Chamber Director. I’m honored in both capacities for the opportunity. That makes me smile.

Here’s the part that brought the tears to my face. I sent out an email to both Jill Biggs and Dawn Mefford who are the main muscle behind this yearly event to start the planning. Jill and I spoke pretty quickly about a few of the details and she went right to work. In the back of my mind I was thinking that I didn’t want to bother Dawn with this right now, she has enough on her plate. (For those of you who don’t know, Dawn is battling breast cancer at the moment. I say at the moment because knowing Dawn, she will fight it swiftly and efficiently. Period.) I received an email back from her the next day, here’s where the tears kick in.

She asked me if we planned it for August whatever. If so, that’s the day of one of her treatments (radiation) and she can move it to another time. I’ll let that soak in. This woman is so committed to her volunteer work in our community that she is willing to move a treatment back in the day so she can help honor our educators. I won’t lie, “is she crazy?” shot through my head. But then I remembered who I was dealing with. Dawn was named one of Frederick’s Most Useful Citizens after all and that plaque isn’t just handed out to anybody. She volunteers so many places in our community, fundraises, helps others in times of need and fights passionately for what she believes in. If you’ve ever worked with her or against her, you know what I’m saying!

I’m honored to have her as a friend and a fellow volunteer in the community. I point this story out to you so that you’ll know the kind of people stepping up for our community. Granted and thankfully, we don’t have too many volunteers facing the obstacles that she is currently dealing with but we have many people who work all day, have families but still show up to volunteer for many good causes in Frederick. Many of these people inspire me to do better and be better for my community. Some of them I’ve known my whole life and I’ve watched them be amazing ambassadors for Frederick, a few I’ve just met and I’m thankful for their vision of what Frederick can be yet others I’m still trying to pull from their comfort zones because I know they have so much to offer.

We all have that one thing we are good at, that thing that allows us to help others, coordinate something or be the muscle behind the scenes. That thing that makes us useful in our everyday lives and in our community. I hope I’ve inspired (or I’ll even take guilted) you into looking inside yourself for your “thing”. Share it with others, allow yourself to be caught up in fighting for the greater good of your community whether it be through the Chamber or another worthy cause.

Friendly Chamber PSA’s

I just want to use this moment to put a couple of friendly PSA’s out there to the residents of Frederick. It’s hot, humid and getting to the dog days of summer already. One of the bright spots in that scenario is that usually this isn’t the season folks get sick or have to deal with “bugs” running their course through the school system. This is a very good thing.

But as there is a ying to every yang, there is a down side to that as well. When we don’t get sick we don’t go see the doctor. This is a particularly slow time of year for most doctors’ offices. If you’ll remember we are going through some transitional times at Memorial Hospital & Physician Group (MHPG) here in Frederick and they need our support more than ever. I know it’s all been a little confusing as to what is actually closed, etc. But be assured, we still have a top notch facility going on Josephine Street in Frederick.

We have a fully staffed clinic, radiology, laboratory, physical therapy, nursing home and home health in full swing. We are lucky. There are communities all over Oklahoma and even the nation that can’t say that anymore. Rural healthcare is in trouble. There are things that are out of our control happening but the one thing that isn’t, our ability to support our local facility.

As I mentioned, there are some who are confused as to what all is taking place at MHPG. Curious? Go out there and take a look. Heck, go out there and take a walk around and visit because you won’t be alone. Many of the familiar, competent faces you’ve always known are still there. Your friends and neighbors will be there utilizing the facility and I hope you will to.

My second PSA is in regards to the Pioneer Townsite Museum. I don’t know if you’ve read or seen any of the articles lately that deal with the Oklahoma Historical Society but they are in the same financial crunch the rest of the state. Unfortunately that means that they have cut funding to our local facility. This is not good news. The Pioneer Townsite Museum is a major draw for tourism in our community as well as a good resource to us locals.

Again, this becomes an issue of Frederick supporting Frederick. By attending functions and maybe dropping a donation in the bucket or writing a check for a larger donation because you value cultural in Frederick, you can be of help. I (and many others) have been saying this for a while but it has become glaringly true as of late… we must learn to support ourselves.

If we can begin to keep our funds in Frederick, donate to each other and attend each other’s functions then we can begin to become less dependent on those forces around us that maybe don’t see Frederick as a priority.  If we make Frederick our priority then we have a chance in this game!

Don’t forget: Be Kind. Be Heard. Be Local.

Slow time. What slow time?

I had several people tell me when I started this job that late spring/summer is a nice time to start it, not much going on. They said I’d have time to tackle some projects that there wasn’t time for in the winter months. Well here it is in the third week of June and I’m still waiting for that “slow time” to start!

There are so many activities and opportunities popping up in Frederick, OK. And as I have said on the radio show many times, if you are bored then it’s your own fault. I truly believe that if you can’t find something to do then you must be sitting at home with the lights off and your ears plugged. We’ve got concerts, bible schools, classes, Trade Day, great days to hang out at Lake Frederick, golfing or a swim at the local pool available. Not to mention the opportunities to volunteer with the local food bank, summer feeding program or any one of the vital organizations our community has. There’s just a lot going on and I couldn’t be happier.

This alleged slow time is something I want no part of. A slow time means that we are failing to offer someone in our community the chance to get involved or have a good time. A slow time means we are providing our kids (or adults) with a chance to get in trouble. A slow time means that the businesses in our community aren’t making as much money which directly affects sales tax income to our community. Personally, I like to see that sales tax money collected and used in our town…drive up to North 14th street and you’ll see what I mean.

A slow time in Frederick means as neighbors we aren’t getting the chance to visit with one another and that my friends, will just not do. I sometimes look just as forward to the people I will get to talk to as I do an event itself around here. There are particular places I know that I’ll see certain folks and that’s my time to catch up. For instance, the local bloodmobile is my chance to catch up with Billie Cope, a trip to the Ramona Theatre means that Carol Hefner and I get to gab about what’s going on around town or breading oysters at the Oyster Fry means watching Wendy Howard and Gary Tyler vie for “Most Useful Breader”. Every event attended is a chance to know your neighbors here in Frederick and knowing your neighbors is one of the greatest benefits to our small town. I challenge you this week to attend an event, volunteer with an organization or just take a moment to walk down the street and reap the benefits of living in Frederick.

And don’t forget: Be Kind. Be Heard. Be Local.