THUMBS UP

Thumbs up to Memorial Day celebrations honoring unforgotten heroes.

Enid Rotary Club has sponsored the impressive Field of Honor — a display of American flags to honor local heroes and benefit Rotary and veterans service organizations.

The club is displaying 330 American flags on poles in front of David Allen Memorial Ballpark, 301 S. Grand, and in the adjacent field at 500 S. Grand, through Wednesday June 5.

Additionally, leaders and members of Enid Police Department participated in a longstanding tradition of honoring officers who served the Enid community before them.

Chief Brian O’Rourke and other department administrators and members of the department spent the morning of May 24 placing flowers and American flags at the graves of officers who served the community, some even before statehood.

“It’s really humbling to see all the people that came before you,” O’Rourke said. “And, they are not going to be forgotten.”

THUMBS UP

More thumbs up for the 4RKids Foundation recently receiving a significant boost to its capital campaign, with a $100,000 grant from the Inasmuch Foundation.

4RKids provides employment opportunities to adults with developmental disabilities, support and outreach to their families, and supports local enrichment opportunities for the developmentally disabled, including Miracle League and Special Olympics.

The capital campaign was launched to raise $4.2 million to construct a new building, renovate the existing structure at 710 Overland Trail, and remake two previous miniature golf courses into one improved wheelchair-accessible course, which was completed last March.

4RKids Executive Director Tricia Mitchell said 4RKids has raised almost $2.4 million of the total $4.2 million needed, and spent about $475,000 to upgrade the golf course.

In February, 4RKids ap­plied for the grant through Inasmuch Foundation to help close the gap on the amount needed to start construction on the new building.

This generous addition to the 4RKids campaign goes a long way toward increasing the organization’s ability to serve our community.

THUMBS UP

Last, but not least, thumbs up to celebrating the career of Velda Rivenburg.

The 86-year-old started working for Enid Public Schools in 1974, first as a volunteer, then as a crossing guard, then as a teacher’s aide, and then as a paraprofessional in a special needs classroom for the last 12 years.

May 23 marked her last day at Waller Middle School, her last day with the district.

Family, friends and colleagues put together a surprise retirement party for her last day.

There was cake, handwritten cards from students and a custom-made trophy presented to commemorate all her time and dedication to Enid’s children.

Rivenburg said she will miss the kids the most.

“With special needs kids, they try harder than the other kids do, because they know they have to surpass things that most kids don’t have to,” she said. “They learn from the ground level, a lot of time they have to learn to talk, learn to walk, there’s all those things they have to learn to do, and boy they’ll try.

“I’m going to miss it really bad.”

And the district will miss you, Velda.

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