We interrupt to bring you this Emergency message…

The recent storm that blew through and potential for this week’s storms made me think about all the things I don’t know or don’t remember about what to do in a weather emergency. Like the brilliant person I can be sometimes, I put our phones on silent ensuring we wouldn’t be bothered by anything. Unfortunately that includes weather advisory’s. I honestly think we have all become a little complacent about our weather safety, it’s been a long time since Frederick has seen severe storms like we have recently. Now granted, you’d think the sheets of ice that blanketed us in December/January would have snapped me to attention. I’m a slow learner sometimes.

So my plan here is to educate us all on what local resources we have and things we can do to stay safe. First: watch the weather reports and take what they are saying seriously or download an app on your phone to keep you advised. Then make preparations accordingly to include flashlights, a clean basement or cellar, charged cell phones, radio with batteries, snacks and water as well as clothes and shoes near the bed if it’s around that time of night.

Second: Stay inside! I know I know, we are Oklahomans and stereotypes don’t typically come out of nowhere. We love to sit outside and watch the storm roll in when in fact we should be taking precautions. Or better yet, let’s get out and drive around after it’s passed through. Maybe run over something and get a flat, almost cause a wreck because we are stopped in the middle of the road rubber necking or flood our cars out driving through high water. As much fun as it all sounds, we have got to stop doing these things.

Lastly: Know where you will go to the shelter and be aware of what you’re neighbors are doing. In the horrible chance that a home or business is destroyed there is a chance of being trapped in a shelter until help arrives. Have a plan within your neighborhood to look out for one another and register your shelter with the Frederick Fire Department. If they know where you are, they can come rescue you!

We all have to take responsibility for ourselves, whether it be our healthcare since we don’t have a 24 hour ER anymore or in case of bad weather. Not being prepared and then expecting others to pick up your slack can’t be the method of operation. There are so many more tips and steps we should be taking during this stormy season in Oklahoma that I haven’t mentioned. Our Tillman County Emergency Management Service is an excellent source of information. I have visited with Randy Hasley a couple of times lately and he, along with the help of many other folks, are busily working on a local emergency plan. This plan will better educate our local leaders as to what deficiencies we may have as well as help community members understand what resources are available during any kind of emergency.

The TCEM is located at 301 W. Gladstone and the phone number is 580-335-7549. The number to the Electrical Department at the City of Frederick in case of power outages is 580-335-3053 or SWRE at 800-256-7973. Smell gas, call ONG and report a leak at 580-335-7539.

Don’t forget to listen to “Let’s Talk Frederick” each Tuesday and Thursday at 9am on KYBE

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Tour Group Success!!!

This past Saturday was Hackberry Flat Day as well as the day the Chamber hosted two tour groups from other parts of the state. We had 45 visitors from the Perry/Stillwater area as well as 36 visitors from Crossways Baptist Church in Sulphur, they were led by former Frederick residents James & Linda Redeker. The weather threatened us but we made it through the day only getting a little wet once. The groups toured the Pioneer Townsite Museum, the Crawford Collection, the Ramona Theater, did a little shopping around town, Hackberry Flat Day and the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team Hangar in addition to enjoying a lunch at the Lois Long Center catered by the Frederick Arts & Humanities Council and at the First United Methodist Church catered by the Baby Bellas group. It was a great day for Frederick. I heard so many compliments about our community as well as the nice residents who stopped to visit with our groups. Thank you! I asked and you delivered.

We will host another three groups from now through the end of June and I hope to keep the momentum going. Out of town visitors benefit us all. It doesn’t have to be a day long group of visitors to show off our community. Each and every person that visits is a chance to make a great impression and hopefully entice them to return.

Unfortunately tour groups weren’t the only things that went on this past weekend. Many residents, businesses and community buildings received flood damage from the torrential rain fall that fell Saturday into Sunday morning. All morning I have witnessed people pulling back carpet, repairing ceilings or drying out floors. However some of the damage will take longer than just a day or two to repair. If you can lend a hand to your neighbors or be patient and overlook any damage they may have to their business at this time I know they would appreciate it.

We have a great sense of community in Frederick and I know we will all continue to lend a helping hand to one another as we dry out and recover from Mother Nature’s latest test!

 

What do YOU get out of the Chamber?

When new businesses come to town my job is to welcome them to the community and invite them to join the Chamber.  Before I can finish my first sentence I am almost always interrupted with the question, “Why should my business join the Chamber?” or “What does my business get out of this membership?”  While these are great questions and my automated shortened response is to talk about the referrals, the ribbon cutting and the publicity, the truth is that the Chamber is so much more than just advertising for businesses.

The truth is that the Chamber does not spend all of its resources advertising solely for your business.  The Chamber spends its resources on keeping Frederick alive and thriving so your business will ultimately have a place and reason for existence.

Every day the Chamber is busy working on bringing new businesses into town, improving our quality of life by making positive changes like beautifying the downtown, hosting a fun event, or inviting visitors to come see why they should visit or move to our town.  We keep close ties to the political realm around us, especially on a state level.  We are constantly thinking up new ideas to challenge the potential of the city.

We’re the dreamers, but we’re also the doers.  We’re the hub of the community where ideas, actions and problems get discussed.  Our committees are the hands and feet of progressive change in Frederick.

While it is true, yes we have funds to appropriate towards planting trees downtown, recruiting new businesses and encouraging the discussion of rural happenings on a state level, we are also a non-profit.  This simply means that our financial means depend on you, yes, you and your business.  The annual small business rate is $125.  So where does this $125 each year go?  For a new business you receive a ribbon cutting and enough publicity to make up the difference in your first week.

For established members the breakdown is slightly different.  You may not receive $125 worth of advertising, even though you are referred much more often than you realize.  More realistically, your $125 gets split into a million different positive projects around town.  $25 might go towards helping us buy a new computer so we have the means of communicating with both folks around town and also potential business owners and visitors in Frederick.  Another $25 my go towards purchasing table cloths for the Annual Teacher’s Luncheon so we can add a little extra special to show the teachers that they ARE appreciated.  $15 of your donation might pay for cookies at a legislative reception when the Lt. Governor unexpectedly pops into town.  $10 may go towards printer paper so the Chamber can mail out letters to the business who might eventually occupy the old ALCO building.  Another $20 might pay for the fuel and equipment it takes to shoot a video about helping the hospital.

The truth is, you may not ever have any idea where your $125 went.  But each newsletter, news column, Twitter or Facebook update that the Chamber reports could potentially be an effect of your donation.  When we all celebrate the success of Oyster Fry, you can smile because a small part of your donation helped pay for the crackers to bread the oysters.  Again, your membership isn’t about making your business better.  It’s about giving your business a better community to thrive in.  After all, who would go to your business if they didn’t first come to your community?

 

 

Chamber Happenings

Well it has been an interesting three weeks in the Frederick Chamber office.  We’ve had two resignations, a banquet and now Oyster Fry.  Our new president is hastily making plans to restructure our committees and get Frederick back on the map again.  There are possibilities around every corner—downtown development, tourism, hospital restructuring, even liquor by the drink.

 

The beautiful thing about all of these opportunities is that it is going to take a collaborative effort to get them fixed.  What I mean is that we need YOU to get involved and help make your hometown a place you’re proud to be from.  We need committee members, event coordinators, idea-hatchers and heavy-lifters.  It is going to take a combination of all of us to get these things done.

 

So how can you pitch in?  Are you a dreamer, a doer, or a thinker?  Tell us your ideas.  Sign up for a committee.  Volunteer just a few hours of your time.  All of these things are valuable in building the new Frederick.

 

And before we can get too carried away with these new fancy ideas, we have to first get through our 27th Oyster Fry Festival.  The small but exciting new contributions to this event are both drawn around the “Oklahoma Mardi Gras” theme.

 

We know that it is quirky to bring fresh oysters from the coast of Texas all the way up to the heart of the plains, but that’s exactly why we embrace this event—it’s kooky!  So why not bring back up a little something extra this year…some Mardi Gras flavor!  In honor of doing so we will be handing out beads at our downtown businesses and attractions and we will also have a mobile band playing Cajun music at the Oyster Fry site!  This is sure to be something fun to see on February 20th.  Oh and don’t forget to where your favorite Mardi Gras outfit, because everyone else will be too!

Oklahoma Mardi Gras

Many months ago a handful of committee members sat around a table and asked the question, “What more can we add to Oyster Fry?”  We wanted to add more fun, more flair, more than just eat and shop.  By the combination of crazy ideas we landed on one that stuck: Oklahoma Mardi Gras.  It’s just crazy enough that it might work.

 

We’re already pretty kooky to serve fresh oysters in the middle of the plains, so why not bring a little bit more of the coast back with us this time, why not bring back Mardi Gras and do it up with a pinch of Okie?  So that’s what we’re doing.  We’re adding a dash of Okie Gras this year and we will add a pinch more next year, and so on and so forth.

 

This year we’ll start by bringing in a Cajun duo from Oklahoma City. Casey and Minna will be joining us on the day of the fry with their guitar and fiddle.  These two love to walk the crowd while serenading, so that’s what they will be doing.

 

On top of the duo we will also be passing out Mardi Gras beads!  These beads are NOT earned in traditional Mardi Gras fashion, but will be earned by shopping at local businesses, visiting our attractions, or purchasing items at the Craft Show.

 

Yes, we are a week late in celebrating Mardi Gras, but that just makes it that much more Okie.  So find your craziest outfit, through some feathers and glitter on it and come join us for an Oyster celebration you won’t forget!  This Saturday the coast comes to you.

 

Click here for crazy outfit ideas!