Pints for Polio 2021 2021-10-03 05:00:00Z 0

Mid-American PETS 2019

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Our Club leaders at MAPETS! Thank you to all Presidents-Elect for investing time this weekend training for the 2019-20 Rotary year, and for all District leaders who helped facilitate and evaluate sessions.
Mid-American PETS 2019 2019-04-21 05:00:00Z 0

Pillar of the Plains 2017

Strate, who retired as CEO and superintendent at Autry Tech in 2015 after 24 years of service, was one of five CareerTech leaders inducted into the Oklahoma CareerTech Hall of Fame in November.

Strate moved to Enid in 1991, when he accepted the superintendent position at Autry Tech. During his tenure, enrollment rose from 2,000 to more than 16,000 students served annually, according to an Autry Tech press release. 

During his time as superintendent Strate also began the Autry Educational Foun­ dation, which awards grants to students in need. To date, more than $500,000 has been raised for the endowment.

Strate has served as the president and legislative chair for Oklahoma Technology Centers’ Superintendent’s Association, and was active in Oklahoma Vocational Education Teacher Development System, Oklahoma Vocational and Leadership Development Committee and Distance Education Policy Committee.

Strate holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Central Missouri State University and was awarded a doctorate of education by the University of Missouri.

In 2008, the James W. Strate Center for Business Development was dedicated. This incubator provides professional business training to those interested in starting, expanding or operating a small business.

Strate was named the Business Person of the Year for 2005-06 by Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce, Francis Tuttle Career Excellence Award from Oklahoma Vocational Association in 2001 and Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2015.

In retirement, Strate raises registered Angus cattle on the family ranch southeast of Covington, and he remains active in Enid Rotary Club, the Community Development Support Association board, at First United Methodist Church and on the business selection committee at the business development center.

In January, Strate will become chair of the board of governors for St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

Strate said he’s seen Enid grow and diversify its economy since he arrived in 1991, when the community still was recovering from an oil bust.

“I think the big positives we have today go back to the all the cooperation we have had with industry and all the education institutions,” Strate said.

He said Autry has been able to work with community and business leaders, 10 area high schools, Northwestern Oklahoma State University and Nor­thern Oklahoma College to grow new businesses and train a diversified workforce.

“There’s just a real element of cooperation here, and that’s what makes it all click and work,” Strate said. “People are open-minded and they see the big picture, and that’s critical.”

Strate said that kind of cooperation will become even more vital as a generation of skilled workers and tradespeople approaches retirement.

“We can’t grow the economy without a skilled workforce,” Strate said. “The population is getting older, we’re going to have a lot of retirements and we’re going to need people to fill those positions. It’s important for people to realize how critical it is to have a skilled workforce.”

Strate said Enid’s future growth also will rely on its continued ability to home-grow businesses like GEFCO, Central Machine and Tool, Groendyke Transport, W B Johnston Grain and AdvancePierre Foods.

“Every community wants to land a Dell Computer, a Microsoft or a Google,” Strate said, “but the reality is in a community like ours, we have to home grow them, and we have to do everything we can to encourage that growth.”

Strate and his wife, Sharon, have been married 52 years.

The couple have one daughter, Christie, and one son, Jim Jr. and wife Janet, grandson Jarred, grandson Justin and wife Lexi and great-granddaughter Layton Jane.

Pillar of the Plains 2017 2018-01-07 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Enid Educational Endowment



The Rotary Club of Enid Educational Endowment Fund was established at the Cherokee Strip Community Foundation in 2017. The fund is endowed, therefore only the earnings will be used to support educational causes in the Enid area.
The recipients will be determined by the Rotary Board annually and will include such items as scholarships to students and grants to local schools.
Ways to give –
o One-time gift
o Part of your annual charitable giving (recurring gifts)
o Through your will or estate gift
Any Rotarian is welcome to donate any amount to this endowment fund. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.
Checks should be made payable to Cherokee Strip Community Foundation – Memo line – Rotary Club of Enid Educational Endowment. Checks may be taken to or mailed to the Cherokee Strip Community Foundation at 324 N Van Buren, Enid, OK 73703.
Rotary Club of Enid Educational Endowment 2017-08-07 05:00:00Z 0

District Membership and Club Image Seminar

The Rotary Club of Enid's President-Elect David Mason, front row, second from the right, attended the District Membership and Club Image Seminar held in Oklahoma City on January 28th. 
District Membership and Club Image Seminar 2017-02-09 06:00:00Z 0
Veterans Day Recognition Video 2016-11-15 06:00:00Z 0

Pillar of the Plains 2015

Cheryl Evans was named 2015 Pillar of the Plains.

The Enid News & Eagle, along with community partners, created the Pillar of the Plains award to honor local people who have been active in the community. These individuals have taken on tasks and projects beyond their professions to better the quality of life in our community.

Evans, the 13th Pillar to be honored, is president of Northern Oklahoma College.

She spent her early childhood in Enid and returned years later to be dean of Northwestern Oklahoma State University-Enid before being named NOC president.

Evans has been active in the Enid community for years. She was Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce chairwoman 2010-11, and served on boards for Integris Bass Baptist Health Center, Community Development Support Association and United Way campaign.

Now, she is on Oklahoma Historical Society board and Ok­­lahoma Foun­dation for Excellence board, and cur­­rently is chairwoman of Council of Ok­­­lahoma Community College Presidents.

Although they live in Tonkawa now, she and her husband, Tom, remain big supporters of Enid. He is owner of Encompass Financial Services here.

We’re proud to call Cheryl Evans the 2015 Pillar of the Plains.


By  Staff Writer

Enid News and Eagle

Pillar of the Plains 2015 2016-10-06 05:00:00Z 0

Pillar of the Plans 2014

Paul Allen has been named the 2014 Pillar of the Plains.

“I’m obviously honored to be here and humbled,” he said, during a reception for the four Pillar of the Plains honorees Thursday evening. “This honor is really one that should go to about 2,000 people.”


Allen, who came to Enid in 1973, was a founder of the company that now is AdvancePierre Foods. He recognized his wife for raising their children while he was working to get the company started. Advance Food Co. would never have gotten to the point it did had it not been for the community’s help, Allen said.


With the type of work requiring a certain sized facility, Allen said the city was generous in giving Advance the opportunity to move into a building on 54th, where the company operated with minimal expense and had an explosion of success.

“For some reason or another, we were able to recruit the greatest bunch of people that you could imagine,” he said.

Allen pointed out there were several employees present at Thursday’s reception.


“When I accept this honor, I really honestly do accept it knowing that the community of Enid made it possible, and then the next thing that happened was all the great people that we were able to hire,” he said.

Allen and his wife, Joan, underwrote construction of David Allen Memorial Ballpark, named for their late son. Both have remained involved in the baseball program.

He also has supported Habitat for Humanity, Denny Price Family YMCA, Salvation Army and Rotary Club.


By  Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

Pillar of the Plans 2014 2016-10-03 05:00:00Z 0

Pillar of the Plains 2012

Martie Oyler was honored during the 10th Pillar of the Plains award ceremony at Convention Hall.

“I am shocked, humbled and privileged to be named. I had good parents and grandparents who gave me my start,” Oyler said.

She also credited her husband and children, who also are active in volunteer work. Oyler said it was a privilege to sit with the other finalists, Gary Kirtley, Dr. David Russell and Larry and Rick Simpson.

“I thank Enid because you embraced me. This is an honor and a privilege. Thank you,” she said.

Oyler said she was surprised by the award.

“I had no clue,” she said.

Enid News & Eagle Publisher Jeff Funk was the emcee for the evening and presented the award to Oyler. He gave a brief description of all the finalists and the reasons they were nominated.

A large crowd of well-wishers was on hand to hear the nominees honored and the ensuing announcement of the winner.

Oyler is the regional manager of Oklahoma Natural Gas and has been involved in many activities. She has helped a number of Enid organizations in the last quarter century.

Oyler has been a longtime supporter of education. As a member of the 2010 bond issue committee, she helped develop the plan for the $99 million bond issue, the largest in Enid Public Schools history. The bond issue paid for the construction of two new elementary schools and funded renovations at all other school sites. The bond issue paved the way for improvements to Enid schools that had been needed for years, she said. Oyler said helping children is particularly rewarding.

“What better way to support young people than giving them facilities?” she said.

Oyler is community service director for Enid Rotary Club, having been a member of the club for more than 10 years. During the past 10 years, she developed an interest in community projects and began writing grants to Rotary International.

Rotarians participated in Making a  Difference Day, a national effort focusing on community improvement. The group also provided books for the Emerson Middle School library and was a partner in the annual fundraiser Festival of Flavor. That event raised $15,000 for technology at Emerson. She also participated in a program to raise money for the improvement of the weight room at Emerson, collecting $5,000.

The club also became involved in Lincoln Academy, Enid Public Schools’ alternative school. Rotarians saw a need for nourishing snacks and helped provide them for classes during the day. They also helped purchase a refrigerator for the break room in the school.

Oyler said she comes from a long line of “servants” and community service comes naturally.

“I tell my kids at the end of the day to think of some way they helped make someone else’s life better,” she said. “We’re very fortunate, and ONG supports their employee's community involvement.”

  • By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
    Enid News and Eagle
Pillar of the Plains 2012 2016-10-01 05:00:00Z 0

Pillar of the Plains 2011

Former Enid mayor and businessman Doug Frantz was named the 2011 Pillar of the Plains during an award reception Thursday at Enid Symphony Center.

“I have nothing much to say,” Frantz said accepting the award. “I’m very flattered tonight.”

Frantz was nominated for the award by past winner Jerry Blankenship, who called Frantz “someone you can always depend on to do a good job.”

Frantz was one of five finalists for the 2011 Pillar of the Plains award, which recognizes people who have had a major impact upon the Enid community. The other finalists are Sharon Trojan, Lavon McKnight, Tom Sailors Jr. and Clark Young.

Frantz was born in Enid in 1944 and received a degree in business administration from the University of Oklahoma. He served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, receiving a Purple Heart, then returned to Enid to enter into business.

Often involved in organizations throughout the community, Frantz has served as a member and past president for Rotary Club and Enid Noon AMBUCS. He twice served as drive chairman of United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma. He is a past board member of  Oklahoma Easter Seals Board, Booker T. Washington Community Center Board, Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce and Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center. He is an elder at First Presbyterian Church.

In business, he is a past president of Northwest Oklahoma Association of Life Underwriters and a member of the board of directors of Central National Bank.

Frantz and his wife, Dianne, have been married 44 years and have three children.

Among his proudest accomplishments was being a co-chairman of the first Denny Price Family YMCA expansion project.

In 1968, as a 23-year-old Marine second lieutenant, Frantz commanded a rifle platoon that was sent to relieve another group surrounded by North Vietnamese soldiers. He was awarded a Purple Heart after he received wounds from a piece of shrapnel.

In 1970, Frantz returned to Enid and joined his family in the insurance business. The company sold mostly property and casualty insurance, but Frantz, as always, only sold life insurance.

Frantz said he chose Enid to return to because it is his home. He had a family here and a nice business.

Frantz also served two terms as may of the city of Enid beginning in 1999.

After accepting his award Thursday night, Frantz said Enid was a good place to live.

“You could give out an award like this every week and everyone would be deserving of it,” he said. “It’s a good place to be a volunteer because we’ve got a lot of people who help.”


By Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

Pillar of the Plains 2011 2016-09-30 05:00:00Z 0

Pillar of the Plains 2009

Dr. Jerry Blankenship was named the 2009 Pillar of the Plains Thursday evening at Enid Symphony Center.

Blankenship was on stage with finalists Jack Douma, Bob Klemme and Ann Price when Enid News & Eagle Publisher Jeff Funk announced the winner of the annual award.

“I think the other honorees are very deserving also,” Blankenship said, after receiving the award before more than 150 people. “It’s an honor for me to be a finalist with them because they all do so much and have done so much.”

Blankenship established his urology practice in Enid in 1967 and has been involved in numerous organizations and causes throughout the community. In 1992, he received the Oklahoma State Medical Association Award for Out-standing Community Service by a Physician and was chosen as Enid’s Citizen of the Year in 2002 by Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce.

“I want to say what an honor it is for me to have been a finalist,” Blankenship said while receiving his award. “It’s been a pleasure for me to work alongside such dedicated volunteers. I’ve learned a lot from you and that’s surprising seeing as how I knew everything when I was 21.”

Blankenship’s latest project has been as a leader of the campaign to build and endow Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center. He also has served as chairman of Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce, was a member of Phillips University Board of Trustees, was a member of Enid Development Coalition, ser-ved as an elder at Central Christian Church, was a division chair for the annual United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma fundraising campaign, served on the board of Enid Public School Foundation, is a member of the local Air Force Association chapter and is a member of Enid Rotary Club.

Blankenship also was involved with the “Only We Can Do It” committee, which in 1987 led the drive to pass a three-quarter cent sales tax to purchase the campus of Phillips University, and lease it back to the school. Part of the sale/leaseback sales tax went to build the University Center that brought both Northern Oklahoma College and North-western Oklahoma State University to Enid.

Blankenship thanked his wife, Carolynne, “for the many things” he’d done and also said he wanted to mention his former partner, Bob Hoffman, Karlyn Bruner and Madelyn Keck, from the urology center.

Blankenship and his wife of 51 years have three sons, Jon, Ben and Matt. Jon is president and chief executive officer of Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce, Ben is a musician in Nashville, Tenn., and Matt is a gastroenterologist in Tulsa.

The Blankenships have eight grandchildren, including five who are 5 years old and younger.


By  Staff Writer

Enid News and Eagle

Pillar of the Plains 2009 2016-09-29 05:00:00Z 0
Pillar of the Plains 2007 2014-02-01 06:00:00Z 0
Pillar of the Plains 2003 2013-02-01 06:00:00Z 0