The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 30, 2012

EPS Foundation Hall of Fame honors two couples

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Two couples who are longtime supporters of public education in Enid were honored at Tuesday night’s Enid Public School Foundation Hall of Fame banquet.

Paul and Joan Allen and Dan and Kay Dillingham were given awards for their roles in supporting education.

“One thing I can say about both these couples is, No. 1 is family with them,” said Shawn Hime, EPS superintendent.

Hime recalled after the $99 million bond issue for building and renovating Enid’s schools passed, both the Allens and the Dillinghams came to him to ask what they could do for Enid Public Schools.

Mark Allen, Paul and Joan’s son, escorted his mother to the lectern when she was called up to receive the award. Paul Allen was out of state for a meeting and could not be at the banquet.

As Joan Allen took the award and smiled, and the crowd of about 170 rose to their feet to applaud.

Jed Dillingham introduced his parents, remembering the importance Dan and Kay Dillingham always put on getting an education.

Jason Turnbow, president of the foundation, said the Allens donated $125,000 to the foundation’s 100 Percent SMART campaign, designed to install SMART Boards for all core classrooms, to complete the goal of raising enough money before the 2011-12 school year began.

Dan and Kay Dillingham supported the bond issue and were among a handful of local businesses and individuals in making the largest K-12 public education donation in Oklahoma history: $3.4 million.

“We grew by another 285 students this year,” Hime said. “Think about it: In Oklahoma, there are a lot of school districts that don’t even have 285 students.”

The Hall of Fame banquet is one of three primary fundraisers for the foundation, which makes twice-yearly grants to teachers to allow them to purchase educational programs or items for their classrooms.