Saturday, July 11, 2009

Open Door Policy - July 6, 2009

I hope everyone had a safe Independence Day this past weekend. I had the opportunity to ride in the Marlow parade, then attend the community events in Cyril and Apache (just as the rain hit), and also attended a cookout. I then went to the airport to pick up my nephew, Jaycee Guffey, as he started his two weeks leave from the Army. His twin brother, Justin, will be in on leave also in the next two weeks. It will be nice to have both these guys home for a visit before being shipped to their next assignments.

I had the chance to ride in the Marlow parade with Stacy Funk, the 65th Annual Rush Springs Watermelon Queen. Stacy won this award two weeks ago and will travel around Oklahoma and Texas promoting the Watermelon Festival on August 8th. Chickasha also selected their rodeo queen at their 70th Annual Rodeo. Congratulations are to be extended to Alexa Brook Hoffman for winning and serving as the Rodeo Queen.

I especially want to extend congratulations to Jean Warner, a community activist who received the Embrace Award from the Oklahoma YWCA program. This award recognized her as someone actively working to make Central Oklahoma a better place for women and families and for being a leader on issues affecting women and/or minorities in Oklahoma. Jean is a wonderful woman, a civic leader and well-deserving of this recognition. I am working with leaders at the YWCA to draft a bill next session to allow persons to donate a portion of their tax returns to the YWCA Domestic Abuse and Transitional Housing program for battered victims. If you would like to make a donation or volunteer, contact the YWCA at or by phone at 405-948-1770.

I am working with leaders from southwest Oklahoma in efforts to tackle various concerns for our area. Last week, various citizens participated in the Southwest Oklahoma Community Partnership Council meeting at Fort Sill, which is assembling citizens from various backgrounds to plan out the future of our region. If you have interest in this effort, please drop me an email and I will forward it on to the chairpersons.

Please keep several families in your prayers as I have had four people pass away in my life. My cousin, Reba Howell of Duncan, passed away after a fight with cancer on Monday. Jim Leon, a friend from high school, died in a car crash this past weekend. Justin Mitchell, a friend of mine from politics, passed away from health complications. HG Dulaney, Director Emeritus of the Sam Rayburn Library and an accomplished author, also passed away on July 4th. Mr. Dulaney visited with me on occasions when I could tour the library to learn more about my political role model.

It is an honor to represent your views at the State Capitol. If you wish to contact me and discuss one of these or another issue, I can be reached at my office in Oklahoma City toll-free at 1-800-522-8502, or directly at 1-405-557-7305. My e-mail address is at work. My mailing address is PO Box 559, Rush Springs, OK 73082 and my website is on the Internet. Thank you for taking time to read this column and I look forward to seeing you soon.

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