Tulsans Who Go 'Above & Beyond' Honored By Rotary Club
TULSA, Oklahoma -
The Rotary Club of Tulsa honored an officer and firefighter of the year Wednesday who have gone above and beyond to serve their community.
Kelly Meeks became a firefighter because she wanted to help people. Not only does she work fire scenes, rescues and medical calls, but she's volunteered at Little Light House for 10 years. She also delivers Meals on Wheels and serves on the department's peer-to-peer team that helps firefighter process traumatic scenes.
"If they have a particularly bad call, we sit around the table and talk about it, see what everybody is feeling," said Kelly Meeks, Tulsa Rotary Firefighter of the Year.
Kelly says every firefighter she knows has a heart for service.
"We do firefighting - because it meets your heart, do what we like to do. We'd do it if nobody was watching. The awards aren't why we do it, but it's nice they recognize that and realize how much it means to us; it's something really special."
Khara Rogers became a police officer because she wants to make a difference in the lives of children. She runs the Tulsa Police Athletic League, or PAL, a community policing office that focuses on building relationships with the community.
Officers do activities, like obstacle courses at low-income complexes, riding bikes at schools, playing golf and even making crafts.
The goal is to change the future, one child at a time.
"They think police are the bad guys because they arrested their parents, so now they're in DHS or something like that," said Khara Rogers, Tulsa Rotary Officer of the Year.
"For them to realize, we're there to help and can be friends and role models and mentors instead of a bad guy. I've seen that first hand; it's very cool."
Rotary also recognized two administrative assistants for their hard work behind the scenes at the fire and police departments: Marlowe Dean and Debbie Stefanek.
This is the 11th year for the Above and Beyond Awards.