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Powerful Living


Family Ties From the Editor


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F


amily. Who doesn’t want to be a part of one? Although the diction- ary defi nes family as “any group of persons closely related by blood,” we know being part of a family goes beyond blood ties. Personally, the concept of family plays a special role in my life. Having come to the United States at age 15 from Brazil, I faced the challenge of ‘leaving’ my blood family early on to pursue my education. I often wonder how I found the courage to leave my dear family to come to the great ‘unknown.’ As I look back, I see that I could not have succeeded without the new family I encountered, at that time, in Lawton, Okla.


Likewise, a few years ago, I was privileged to become a part


of the electric cooperative family—which has been one of my greatest blessings. As a member-owner of your electric coopera- tive, I hope you know you’re not just another customer. As a member, you have a voice in your co-op’s affairs (read about the Seven Cooperative Principles here: www.oaec.coop/the_cooperative_difference). Your cooperative is actively engaged in your community, and that’s because your co-op genuinely cares about those they serve. From day one, Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives have passionately upheld their purpose of ‘Powering the Needs of New Generations.’ This edition of Oklahoma Living emphasizes the value of fam- ily in each story. On Page 6, you will read testimonials from young people who just came back from a week-long, all-expens- es-paid trip to Washington, D.C.—the Rural Electric Youth Tour. On Page 10, learn how the Oklahoma Panhandle celebrates African heritage at the Azuma Festival. This festival highlights how we are all one family, regardless of race or color. On Page 12, you will fi nd a fun story about kid-friendly destinations our state offers. On Page 22, you will be inspired to read about a group of young swimmers who lost a friend way too soon. Fourteen-year-old Emily El-Amoudi passed away after suffering from Leukemia. Her fellow swimmers rallied to raise funds to cover medical costs. On Page 26, you will fi nd the story behind the famous Eischen’s fried chicken, which goes back several generations.


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AUGUST 2014 5


I hope you will enjoy this edition – after all, you are an es- sential part of this publication. Welcome to the family!


Anna Politano Managing Editor, Oklahoma Living


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