Troop Support - Inola Company Wears It Well

Wednesday, April 9th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Recently, many Channel 6 viewers have called our offices, asking about different ways to support our troops in Iraq. Rick Wells went Inola where they hand-make lapel pins that proclaim the message, "Support Our Troops" – in more ways than one.

Jeanine Gray - Marine Mom:"This pin I got in Inola, my husband got it from somebody that went down to Inola - they were making 'em"

Jeanine Gray's son is a Marine stationed in Iraq. We met Jeanine at St Francis Hospital. The pin that she’s referring to was made at Inola Casting Works, where the’ve already made and sold more than nine thousand.pins in just five days.

Stephanie Freeman, Inola Casting Works: "We can take any logo and make custom pins, keychains, dog tags - anything you can think of that can be made out of pewter."

That's what Inola Casting Works specializes in. Making souvenir pins to commemorate events. Pins like the ones they made for this year’s Rolling Stones Tour are what keep them busy and pay the bills, but for over a decade now, the employees and the company still make the time to help the community through their creations, by making message pins for charity.

Freeman: "Our combined efforts have raised over half a million dollars..."

Theyve produced commemoratives for Desert Shield, Desert Storm, the Oklahoma City Bombing, 9-11, and now, for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

This pin operation is more special perhaps because for the most part each is made by hand… lots of hands.

For each pin made, they start by pouring molten pewter into a mold. The unfinished pins are then taken out of the mold, and must be carefully broken apart. The pins that survive the breakout process must be prepared for painting, painted by hand, then finally, individually bagged and boxed. The process makes for a unique and beautiful finished product, but mass production is another story…

Freeman: "We can't keep up, the demand is greater than what we're getting out the door every day."

The pins sell for five dollars each. Customers who wear them can feel confident they are doing something to support our troops, too. Because for every five dollar sale, four dollars goes to the U.S.O.

Here are some of the locations where the pins can be purchased:

RCB Bank

1st BANK

Lake Side State Bank In Oologah

American Bank & Trust - Main Branch

  • 61st and S. Yale, Tulsa (in the Citco building across from St. Francis Hospital)

Oklahoma State Bank Of Vinita

Bank of Locust Grove

Or visit Inola Casting Works