Thousands of Volunteers Needed to Pack Food for Hungry Kids
Nearly 2,000 volunteers are needed to help assemble snacks and fresh meals for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Summer Feeding Program. Through the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Summer Feeding Program, any child 18 and under can receive nutritious meals and snacks at more than 130 locations in central and western Oklahoma. Those meals are prepared and packaged in Hope’s Kitchen, the Regional Food Bank’s production kitchen. “We often say that volunteers are the lifeblood of the Regional Food Bank. No time during the year is that more evident than during the summer months as Hope’s Kitchen begins producing nearly 6,000 meals per day for the Summer Feeding Program,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank. Volunteers are needed to help assemble snacks and fresh meals through July 26. Shifts are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1–4 p.m. Sign up by visiting RFBO.org/volunteer or calling 405.600.3160.
Governor Signs Tax Exemption for Foster Families
Oklahoma’s more than 4,100 foster families will soon get some financial relief following the signing of Senate Bill 893. Sen. Paul Scott, R-Duncan, and Rep. Rande Worthen, R-Lawton, authored the bill, which will provide a $5,000 income tax exemption for anyone contracting with a child-placing agency for taxable years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2019. In order to qualify for the exemption, the taxpayer must have been under contract and providing care for at least six months or claim a pro rata exemption based on the difference. DHS hopes to have recruited another 400 foster families by the end of June to hit its annual goal of 900 new, approved foster homes. DHS specifically is needing families who will take in teenagers, large sibling groups and children with mental health issues or other special medical needs. Of the 8,000 children in foster care, around 500 are also legally free and waiting to be adopted. SB 893 will go into effect Nov. 1, 2019.
Lt. Governor Pinnell Discusses Tourism at Chamber May Forum
Did you know that OKC’s visitor economy is one of its largest economies? Maintaining and improving upon Oklahoma City’s growing tourism and hospitality is a must. Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell talked about his vision for strengthening the hospitality industry in the state of Oklahoma at during the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber’s May Chamber Forum. Signature Sponsor Cox Business and Corporate Sponsor ADG helped put on the chamber forum for members and member businesses. Lt. Pinnell was named Secretary of Tourism and Branding and tasked with the job of attracting more lucrative tourism dollars into the economy. Dedicating more funding to tourism marketing is one of the top goals Pinnell has in order to boost those dollars in the state.
Boys & Girls Club of OKC Continues Capital Campaign
In January, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County announced the public phase of its Great Futures Campaign to serve more youth, more often, with greater impact. The campaign centers around adding a Teen Center space for high school students at the Memorial Park Boys & Girls Club, 3535 N. Western, sustaining the club programs in three elementary schools, enhanced programming at all four club sites and broadening the footprint by adding a fifth club site. The organization has a current membership of 3,854 youth ages 6 to 18 serving up to 800 each day after school and during summer and school breaks. Professional staff and volunteers work toward three primary outcomes for the youth served: that they graduate from high school with a plan for the future, live healthy lifestyles (nutrition, exercise and healthy relationships) and become contributing members of the community. More information about the organization, the Great Futures Campaign and how to donate can be found at BGCOKC.org or by calling 405.602.5714.
OKC Named Tops for ‘Best Large City to Start Business’
Today, more than 15.3 million people in the U.S., or nearly 10% of the labor force, work for themselves. And there is always room in the market for new ideas, products, services and multi-million-dollar success stories—if one knows where to look. In order to help aspiring entrepreneurs maximize their chances for long-term prosperity, WalletHub compared 100 U.S. cities across 19 key indicators of startup viability. The data set ranges from five-year business-survival rate to office-space affordability. Oklahoma City ranked high on the data, making it one of the best large cities for starting a business. According to the report, Oklahoma City ranked:
- 7th – Financing Accessibility
- 30th – Office-Space Affordability
- 44th – Labor Costs
- 3rd – Cost of Living
- 14th – Length of Average Workweek (in Hours)
OKC Zoo, Metropolitan Library System Continue Statewide Library Program
The Oklahoma City Zoo and Metropolitan Library System announced they will continue their community literacy program, “Read for Adventure.” This popular promotion and partnership enables Oklahoma library card holders to check out the original children’s book Our Day at the Zoo from any participating public library location within the state to receive four general admission ticket vouchers to the OKC Zoo. “Read for Adventure” continues through March 31, 2020. Zoo ticket vouchers are good through March 31, 2020. For more information, visit OKCZoo.org.
Boeing Lands Contract to Modernize Bomber Fleet
The Boeing Co. in Oklahoma City has been awarded a $14,314,300,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the modification, modernization, engineering, sustainment and test of the B-1/B-52 weapons systems. This B-1/B-52 Flexible Acquisition and Sustainment contract provides for the upcoming modernization and sustainment efforts to increase lethality, enhance survivability, improve supportability and increase responsiveness. Work will be performed in Oklahoma City and is expected to be complete by April 11, 2029. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $1,215,568 are being used for the first task order at the time of the award.
OKC Dodgers Refurbish Playing Fields at Wheeler Park
The Oklahoma City Dodgers participated in Minor League Baseball Charities’ new field refurbishment initiative, “MiLB Project: Refresh” powered by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment, by volunteering May 13 to improve the playing fields at Wheeler Park. The OKC Dodgers front office staff partnered with Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation and ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment to paint, pull weeds, edge, make fencing improvements and more at the Wheeler Park playing fields, located at 1120 S. Western Ave. in Oklahoma City. Wheeler Park is home of the OKC Dodgers Rookie League, a youth baseball league now in its second season. The OKC Dodgers were one of 15 MiLB teams selected from numerous applications to receive assistance in refurbishing youth baseball and softball fields in MiLB communities across the United States. Minor League Baseball Charities is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to giving back to and enhancing the communities its teams call home. In conjunction with ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment, Minor League Baseball and its teams are working to enhance local baseball and softball communities in MiLB cities across the country.