The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2013

April 13, 2013

'A beautiful thing'

Service of Vance AFB personnel goes beyond professional duties, touches lives in Enid, area


ENID, Okla. — Peralez: ‘It’s just a blast’

On duty, Peralez is a desk sergeant for the 71st Security Forces Squadron, while off duty he works with Our Daily Bread, the soup kitchen operated in downtown Enid by St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, as well as Habitat For Humanity. He helps serve at Our Daily Bread with other members of his squadron, on the second and fourth Fridays of the month, and recruits and assigns volunteers to work on Habitat For Humanity projects.

Since returning from deployment in March 2012, Peralez has taken leave five times to help with his grandfather’s church, San Antonio For Christ Church in San Antonio, which sponsors a halfway house.

“It’s for people straight out of prison trying to kick a drug habit, or overcoming alcohol,” he said.

He also volunteers to work with children at Garfield Elementary School.

Peralez, who wants to cross-train to become a military working dog handler, also volunteers to be the “suspect” subdued by a charging canine during public demonstrations.

“It’s just a blast,” he said. “The kids are so excited.”

On top of that, he and his wife, Jenny, are getting ready to welcome their first child into the world.

Smokovitz: It’s a passion

Smokovitz is a member of the 71st Student Squadron, serves as volunteer coach for an under-16 soccer team in Enid Soccer Club and goes to Taft Elementary School twice a week to work with first-graders.

“We’re doing anything from helping them learn math, to writing sentences, to playing zombie tag with them on recess,” Smokovitz said. “This next week they have a play coming up, so we have been helping them rehearse their lines for that.”

Smokovitz also works at Loaves and Fishes food pantry, but hasn’t had much time to spend there as the wing prepares for the upcoming basewide Consolidated Unit Inspection.

Smokovitz grew up playing soccer and welcomes the opportunity to pass along his love of the game.

“It’s a sport that I’m passionate about, but it’s also about developing a person and helping them grow, just like working at the school,” he said. “It’s more than just the idea of playing a sport. You’re teaching them right and wrong on a soccer field, sportsmanship, teamwork.”

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Progress 2013
  • Progress cover page.jpg 2013 OUR HERITAGE, OUR FUTURE

    The News & Eagle puts out an annual Progress edition. This year's 2013 Our Heritage, Our Future focuses the Enid area's rich heritage and its current and future endeavors.

    Read individual stories on the site HERE

    Links to Full Edition pdf format: Economic Development | Health & Wellness | Education | Northwest Oklahoma | Faith | Family | Agriculture & Energy | Community Service

    Our Progress edition also is available as part of our digital newspaper. Learn more about the ENE e-edition HERE.

    February 16, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Bob Farrell_1_BV.jpg A time to give

    Bob Farrell volunteers for a number of organizations throughout Enid, a labor of love that began during his 25-year active duty Air Force career, at which time he rose to the rank of chief master sergeant.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • experiment.jpg Growth spurt

    The market normally opens the second Saturday of May, the week after Tri-State Music Festival. June 22 is the annual GreEnid promotion. Hours are 8-11 a.m. each Saturday during the season.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link

  • Nonprofits Seminar_2_BV.jpg A way to fund progress

    Cherokee Strip Community Foundation was started in 1999 and began receiving funds in 2000. The initial funds were raised because of a challenge match from Sisters of Mercy, former owners of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, which started the match program as a way to help the community.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Foster_Grandparent_BH.jpg 'I love you Grandma warms my heart'

    “I can tell Grandma one time, and she knows what the children need, grabs her stuff and goes and does it. It’s like having another teacher.” — Hoover Elementary teacher Nicole Moneypenny

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • AmTryke_3_BV.jpg AMBUCS pride

    “Enid is known as the AMBUCS capital of the world because there’s more AMBUCS in Enid per capita than any other city in the country." — Kent Clingenpeel, National AMBUCS president and Enid AM AMBUCS member

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Volunteers_Alisha Jones_4.jpg 'A beautiful thing'

    “When we talk about developing professional airmen, our community involvement is a big part of it.” — Col. Darren James, commander of 71st Flying Training Wing

    April 13, 2013 4 Photos 1 Link

  • Stepping_Stones_1_BH.jpg Helping people overcome

    Stepping Stones and Van’s House are housed at the same facility and are there to provide help for those who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Park Avenue Thrift_1_BV.jpg People making a difference

    From vocational rehabilitation and homeless shelter services to community arts programs, a significant portion of Enid’s non-profit causes benefit directly when people shop at or donate to local thrift stores.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • JWL_1_BV.jpg Care to share

    Junior Welfare League bought adjoining buildings downtown and has been operating Return Engagement from one of the buildings but hopes to expand the store throughout both buildings.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link