In 2003, the Enid News & Eagle, along with community partners, created the Pillar of the Plains. The ceremony honors local people who have been active in the community, improved the quality of life and made the Enid area a better place.

Pillar of the Plains, now in its 17th year, has honored 68 deserving people (some of them now deceased). Of those, 16 have been named the “Pillar of the Plains.”

Previous Pillars of the Plains are Bert Mackie, Lee Thompson, Janet Cordell, the late Lew Ward, Dr. Charles Ogle, Becky Cummings, Dr. Jerry Blankenship, April Danahy, Doug Frantz, Martie Oyler, Gail Wynne, Paul Allen, Cheryl Evans, Dr. Barry Pollard, Jim Strate and Cheri Ezzell.

Past Pillars and members of the community have helped nominate and select four well-deserving honorees this year. They are Carmen Ball, George Davis, Roxanne Pollard and Myra Ward.

Ball is the executive director of the nonprofit Hedges Regional Speech & Hearing Center and serves on several boards of community organizations. She’s spent the past six years as the Gaslight Theatre treasurer, has served on the Enid Arts Council board for the past 10 years and has a seat on the Autry Technology Center board, to name just a few of her volunteering activities. She is a member of Enid Noon AMBUCS and she and her husband, previous Pillar honoree Frank Baker, are members of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church.

Davis, the son of Leo Jack Davis, founder of the successful Jack Davis Equipment Co., would say he’s been “lucky.” He’s had a life of means and opportunity afforded to few, and he’s wielded that good fortune for good causes. Adams Elementary School, Community Development Support Association and Loaves & Fishes are just a few local beneficiaries.

Pollard, the wife of one-time Pillar Dr. Barry Pollard, has served as the president of Community Development Support Association, helped found and served on the board of Loaves & Fishes, is a past president of YWCA Enid, past board member of Rural Health Projects, longtime member of Garfield County 4-H and FFA Livestock Premium Sale Board, served on the Women for OSU Council scholarship committee and is a current member of the board of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, just to name of few of her volunteering efforts.

Myra Ward, the widow of oil and gas magnate and one-time Pillar Lew Ward, has shown her generosity in many ways, from the Cherokee Strip Heritage Museum to Enid Public Schools to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation to both the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. Friends and associates said the Wards were always a team in their community service as well as business. Much of their generosity was not publicized.

The four Pillar of the Plains honorees will be recognized during a reception at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 9 in the Nick Benson Ballroom, on the second floor of Convention Hall at Stride Bank Center, 301 S. Independence. Please join us in recognizing these outstanding volunteers for helping our community.

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