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Vol. 66 Number 9


News orthwestern Electric July 2015


The power of human connections Co-ops mark 30 years of volunteering at Special Olympics


L


ong before Touchstone En- ergy decided on the motto “the power of human connec- tions,” the employees and directors of Oklahoma’s electric coopera- tives knew the true meaning of the phrase and demonstrated it by vol- unteering at the Special Olympics Summer State Games each May. This year marked the 30th an- niversary of the co-op employees, directors, managers, and former Youth Tour students involvement in the games, and once again, the co- ops had one of the largest volunteer groups at the games. Over 100 vol- unteers from 21 co-ops across the state gathered in Stillwater on May 13-15 to honor and assist the 5,000 athletes who had come to compete in the games.


The athletes, family members, coaches and volunteers gathered in Gallagher Iba Arena on Wednesday night for the opening ceremonies. Co-op volunteers spent the evening manning concession stands and hawking drinks and popcorn inside the arena while others were busy making sure the wheelchair athletes made it to their V.I.P. seating. After an early morning wake up call, the co-op volunteers were on the track at 7:30 a.m. in their bright green shirts ready for the races to begin. Track and field remained the top spot for the co-op volun- teers this year as they assisted in staging the athletes preparing for the races, acted as starters and runners during the races, and were official time keepers. Many more co-op volunteers were on hand to place the racers, hug the winners, console those who didn’t win and


help make sure everyone received their awards. Wendy Zapata and Kaylie Cole served as Northwestern Electric’s representatives at this year’s games. Both Wendy and Kaylie are con- sumer account reps for NWEC. This was Wendy’s first time to volunteer at the event. “It was really neat,” she said. “It was fun to see how excited the athletes got when they won a medal. And even if they didn’t win, they were still excited just to be there.” This was the second time for Kaylie to attend the event. Her first experience with Special Olympics was with her previous employer,


Inside


Watts Up Kids Camp ....2 75th Anniversary ..........3 Recipe ............................3 Change for the better ...4 Maintain your A/C .........4


NWEC employees Wendy Zapata (left) and Kaylie Cole (right) volunteered at the Special Olympics Summer Games in May. Brenna Kirkwood (center) competed in the games and won two gold medals and a bronze in the track and field events. Brenna is the daughter of John and Tereasa Kirkwood. John is the director of operations/safety coordinator for NWEC.


Independent Opportunities. She was there with clients so she didn’t have the opportunity to interact with the athletes. “Being a part of the volunteer group and helping the athletes was fun,” Kaylie said. “It was rewarding to see and share their excitement.”


By the end of the games, volun- teers have a lot to take home with them from the event—including a few sunburns, tired feet and sore muscles. These, however, are overshadowed by the joyful hearts, wonderful memories and feelings of contributing to such an outstand- ing cause. The power of human connections indeed!


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