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Powerful Living Making Dreams Come True


Electric cooperative employees volunteer at Oklahoma’s Special Olympics Summer State Games


Rising from Rubble In the Editor’s Words


“Don’t look for big things, just do small things with great love...the smaller the thing, the greater must be our love.” Mother Teresa


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Over 100 co-op employees volunteered at this year’s Special Olympics Summer State Games maintaining a tradition of 28 years. Volunteers helped with track and fi eld activities including: staging athletes for their races, serving as starters, timers, placers and huggers as well as coordinating running and standing long jump events. The volunteer process is organized by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives. Left: Clara Eulert, Indian Electric Cooperative’s youth tour coordinator, stands by an athlete. Right: Glen Clark, member services representative with Lake Region Electric Cooperative, walks an athlete to the awards area. Photos by Jennifer Dempsey/OAEC


If viewing our digital edition, click here to watch a video of volunteers sharing their life-changing experience at Special Olympics. Access our digital edition at www.ok-living.coop or fi nd our FREE app at the Apple Newsstand, Google Play or Amazon.


irport is closed. Flights are canceled.”


Those were the words I heard a few days ago,


while waiting to board a plane to


Oklahoma City, returning home from a conference. A round of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms were pound- ing the Dallas-Fort Worth area. After spending hours on the phone trying to re-book a fl ight and fi nd a hotel for the night, I was able to peacefully—and safely—sleep at a hotel near the airport. The next morning, I learned the tornadoes had taken six lives, left dozens injured, and hun- dreds were left homeless.


Do you ever wake up and count your blessings? That morning as I stood in line to board a plane, I refl ected on how blessed I was; yet, I was completely unaware of an- other catastrophe to come–this time much closer to home. A few days later, a round of severe storms and tornadoes would sweep through Oklahoma.


Cooperatives Receive Prestigious Awards


Jennifer Boeck, People’s Electric Cooperative vice president of communications and her seven- year-old son, Brady Boeck, receive the People’s Choice Award from Touchstone Energy Chief Operating Offi cer, Jim Bausell. Photo by Brenda Somes/Ruralite


Two Oklahoma electric co-ops received prestigious awards from Touchstone Energy’s Watch & Learn video contest. Participants produced short videos on any of four energy effi ciency categories: Heating & Cooling, Air Sealing & Insulation, Lighting, and Energy Saving Tips. The videos will supplement the Watch & Learn library on TogetherWeSave.com. Cotton Electric Cooperative received an award for Technical Merit. People’s Electric Cooperative re- ceived the People’s Choice Award. Oklahoma’s elec- tric co-ops show outstanding leadership in energy effi ciency education efforts for their membership.


If viewing our digital edition, click here to watch the winning videos from Cotton Electric and People’s Electric. Access our digital edition at www.ok-living.coop or fi nd our FREE app at the Apple Newsstand, Google Play or Amazon.


As I write this column—just before going to press—the City of Moore has been tragically hit by an EF-5 tornado. The death toll could rise from 24, and hundreds of emer- gency responders are tirelessly working to save lives, clean up, and rebuild. Among those responders are co-op line- men—some of who will stay away from their families for weeks—until power is restored to every co-op member who can safely receive electricity. In the aftermath of the May 17-20 tornadoes, Oklahomans are rising from the rubble and doing what they do best: taking care of one another. This month, the cover story of Oklahoma Living features ordinary folks, like you, your neighbor, or your co-worker, who do extraordinary things. These are folks who step up to the plate when disaster hits. These individuals are peo- ple like you and me, going about their daily routines to work and care for their families. They’re volunteer emer- gency responders who step out of their comfort zones to help when tornadoes rip through a community, when wildfi res go rampant, or when terrorism plagues our sur- roundings, taking away those we love the most. It is often in the midst of our pain and struggles that compassion, courage and selfl essness rise. As it turns out, the recent events have shown the resilient character of Oklahomans. Yes—volunteer emergency responders are heroes, but so are you. You, who gave of your time and resources to help victims; you, who stepped out of your comfort zone to extend a hand to those in need; you, who prayed for victims and took them under your wings to help in any way you could. Certainly, beauty will come out of this rubble. Oklahomans will rise together from this tragic event. You make ‘Oklahoma Strong.’


Note: To make a donation to the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Relief Fund, visit www.oaec.coop


JUNE 2013 5


Anna Politano Managing Editor, Oklahoma Living


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