THUMBS UP

Thumbs up to comic book enthusiasts and vendors from several states gathering recently for another successful Enid Comic Con at Stride Bank Center.

The event, organized by Clint Randolph, Eagle Marketing and Stride Bank Center, attracted almost twice as many vendors as last year — 90 tables of vendors, up from 52 last year, including vendors from Chicago, Kansas and Colorado, selling an eclectic mix of comics, posters, costumes, art and fan gear.

Vendor George Macus said people are drawn to events like Comic Con for the same reasons others are lured to football games or art museums.

“All people are geeks in one way or another, but this is a celebration of one particular vein of geeks,” Macus said. “All people have their own flavor of geekdom, and the sooner we recognize that, the sooner we all get along.”

We couldn’t agree more.

THUMBS UP

More thumbs up to 36 Oklahoma educators — including one from Enid — who experienced a week of historical immersion in early American life at Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute, held at the restored capital of 18th-century Virginia.

While in Colonial Williamsburg, the world’s largest living history museum, Oklahoma teachers met character interpreters of 18th-century people from Powhatan Indians and plantation slaves to British loyalists and Founding Fathers. Educators were immersed in early American history through hands-on activities and re-enactments of historical events.

Coolidge Elementary School’s Tina Green said the information and experiences are something she can share with her fifth-grade students.

This marked the 27th year Oklahoma teachers have attended the institute through a fellowship program coordinated by Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, a statewide nonprofit that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in public schools. Oklahoma is second in the nation, following California, in the number of teacher institute participants, with 1,044 graduates.

These meaningful re-enactments were a wonderful opportunity to learn firsthand from history.

THUMBS UP

Last, but not least, thumbs up to the legacy of Main Street Enid Director Kelly Tompkins as she departs in pursuit of a private entrepreneurial venture.

Tompkins, who was appointed to the post in April 2012, is leaving some big shoes to fill. She plans to pursue new ventures in marketing, placemaking and mural painting that create involvement and connectivity through her business, Hive Appeal, with her husband, Ty.

We echo comments from Roxanna Costello, Main Street Enid board president, that Tompkins has done a phenomenal job for Main Street Enid over her seven years as director.

“Her passion for Enid has shown through her work and events,” Costello said.

Some highlights of that work include a tenfold increase in attendance at First Friday events, doubling partnership income, starting the downtown mural project and winning 15 statewide awards, including Community of the Year in 2016 and Oklahoma Main Street Director of the Year in 2015.

Kelly and Ty are working on a nonprofit directory for Enid, at www.BeeTheCommunity.com.

Tompkins’ last day at Main Street Enid is Sept. 14. The board currently is taking applications for the executive director position at Indeed.com and and at http://www.mainstreetenid.org.

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