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May 13, 2014

Busy week was enlightening

DUNCAN — Odds and ends, bits and pieces and an opinion or two from a notebook full of thoughts from a busy, but entertaining and educational week of activities.

You could sense the obvious pride at the annual meeting of the Stephens County of United Way. Surpassing the $350,000 goal is a nice accomplishment…nice bit of leadership from Lauren Ellis, Haylee Root and Betty Beck…great community support… and quite a challenge in replacing departing executive director Ellis, now bound for bigger United Way successes in Lawton.

…Congratulations to Betty Bowen on her recognition as Comanche Chamber of Commerce member of the year…well deserved…thanks to the tireless Bruce Akins, the energetic banker and community leader who, almost single-handedly, breathed new life into the chamber…and good luck to Trent Young…succeeding Akins won’t be easy, but community momentum will obviously help… and isn’t the Asbury Complex a nice place for community gatherings…

Probably hard to find a more popular citizen of the year than Marlow’s Jason McPherson, the epitome of a hometown boy making good…his tearful acknowledgement of the recognition was touching…as city administrator, he has marvelous opportunities to be a long-time leader for a quality place…Marlow chamber could give lessons on conducting an efficient annual banquet…incoming president Chuck King hints, however, the repeat of a video like the one that chronicled McPherson’s presidential year isn’t likely…and that may be a good thing.

  …An unexpected conflict prevented seeing Duncan students in action, but the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program is one of my favorites…students are challenged to think, question and reason through hands-on projects that expand the learning process…ought to be a mandatory commitment for all youngsters in all area schools…

Chance to help select Rotary scholarship recipient was enlightening…appears no shortage of sharp students here, all encouraged to get involved early in community service.

…Hearing the Duncan High jazz ensemble perform is always a Duncan Rotary highlight…this year’s performance was no exception…members practice, voluntarily, before school three days a week…their talent and commitment is obvious…

A church picnic, admittedly on a blustery jacket-wearing evening, emphasized what a jewel our city has in Fuqua Park… the hub of quite a diversified schedule…which allows me to share the Kiwanis Kiddieland Park is hosting private parties now but officially opens May 30…and to tell you the first Chisholm Trail Municipal Band concert is June 5…other concerts are June 19 and July 3..

…Another quick aside: current Kiwanis membership drive is meeting with good success…that’s good news…all local civic clubs could use the fresh energy and enthusiasm of new members…

How nice it was to join more than 200 people for the first Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast…speaks well of the spiritual heritage that holds Duncan together…thanks to ministers Russ Stewart, Bryan Pain, Ronald L. Boyd, Chris Percival, Mike Peercy, Doug Gunsalus, David Morrow and Ron Meador…originally thought the program could have ended after their respective prayers, but state Sen. Corey Brooks’ message was a meaningful one…take note, though…Jerry Whitten, Dale Anderson and a men’s Thursday morning devotional group have been recognizing the National Day of Prayer for years…know they were pleased at the large turnout.

…Congratulations to Marilyn Hugon, newest recipient of the Stephens County Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award at Law Day…chance to hear Fred Arooji, a military hero who embraces character, courage and confidence, was inspiring…affectionate note to Duncan Golf and Tennis Club…have always enjoyed meetings in your banquet-ballroom, but a sound system investment  and glare reducing solution is overdue…

Finally, a bittersweet note… the Athene Study Club will celebrate its 75th anniversary next week with a luncheon at the historic Brown-Weedn Home …but it will also be the group’s final meeting, ever…the ladies first met in 1938 and have been providing scholarships and community support ever since.

…Now, I’d call that a busy week, but one that reflects the variety of things happening in our area…and provides many reason to be proud of our community’s involved people…

Hope your day is a good one and here’s an unusual wish…stay cool.                                                                                                                edarling@duncanbanner.com                                                                               (580) 255-5354, Ext. 130

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