Non-Profits Compete For Community Spirit Award

Monday, February 26th 2007, 10:14 am
By: News On 6

The News on 6 Community Spirit Award will be handed out on Tuesday at Trav’s Wild, Wild Weather Show in Wagoner. The award is intended to honor a Wagoner non-profit group that has inspired the entire community. Thirteen organizations are vying for the award, as well as the $1,000 that comes with it. The News on 6’s Chris Wright reports “Neighbor Newspapers” will pick the winner, and with so many deserving candidates, it won't be an easy choice.

Just like they do every Monday morning, retired Wagoner residents came to the Senior Citizens Activity Center to shoot some pool, or play some canasta and dominoes. Located in the basement of the Wagoner Library, the center's regulars say just spending time with one another is a highlight of their week.

"I can be very depressed,” said center regular Alice Brown. “But you come down here, and with a group like this, you don't stay depressed very long."

The facility opened four years ago, but its members say they already need more room. The group has already bought land and drawn up a blueprint for a new facility, they believe $1,000 would go a long way towards making their plans a reality.

"We're down here in the basement, which we appreciate the fact that we're here, we've got a location and a place to meet, but we definitely need to expand," Jean Riggs with Wagoner County Senior Services said.

Another non-profit hoping to expand is the Wagoner Animal Guardian Society, or Wags. The group vaccinates, cleans and finds homes for stray animals found in the county.

"It's not only the animals we're helping, but it's also people who have good hearts, you can't just drive off and leave a stray animal or watch one starve next door," Wags Treasurer Sandra Fehnpf said.

Wags members say if they win the award, the money will go towards improving their foster care program. They would buy pens, dog houses and food, so anyone who comes across a stray and wants to take care of it will have the resources to do so.

"These are animals that wouldn't have a chance, but they've enriched someone's life," said Fehnpf.

These are just two of the 13 groups nominated for the Community Spirit Award. Other organizations up for the award include the Wagoner Area Neighbors, the Special Olympics, the Masonic Lodge and Blue Star Mothers.