The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 9, 2014

Gail Wynne is the 2013 Pillar of the Plains

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — From a civil rights activist who mentors children, to an architect whose work will live long after he is gone, to a woman who dedicated her life to feeding the hungry and another who dedicated hers to bringing purpose and meaning to the lives of the disabled, the honorees for 2013 Pillar of the Plains were an impressive group.

Honorees were Dr. Barbara Whinery, Mary Laster-Porter, Ken Corbin and Gail Wynne.

“Friends, community members and role models for all of us,” Enid News & Eagle Publisher Jeff Funk called them, as he told the 150 people who turned out for Thursday evening’s reception at Convention Hall why each was selected as an honoree.

When Funk revealed Wynne is this year’s Pillar, Wynne had to say a few words about Whinery.

“I remember about 10 years ago, sitting in Dr. Whinery’s office and realizing we’d started two volunteer organizations at about the same time,” Wynne said.

Wynne is a longtime board member with Oklahoma Regional Food Bank and was instrumental in the formation of Loaves and Fishes, as well as establishing food pantries in Enid schools. Whinery was the driving force behind the creation of 4RKids.

An architect, Corbin made his name in Enid business circles by designing many buildings in the city. He helped remodel Garfield County Court House, StarTek and Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse. He spends many hours volunteering for boards of local organizations.

Laster-Porter, also known as “Miss Pinky” to her friends at Booker T. Washington Community Center, was active in the civil rights movement and remains active in her community.

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 to better the quality of life in our community.

Previous Pillars of the Plains are Bert Mackie, Lee Thompson, Janet Cordell, Lew Ward, Dr. Charles Ogle, Becky Cummings, Dr. Jerry Blankenship, April Danahy, Doug Frantz and Martie Oyler.