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Nominations Open for Child Advocacy Fall Awards


Nominate Your Choice at OICA.ORG

OKLAHOMA CITY – During its annual Fall Forum meeting, to be held on Wednesday, October 20th – Friday, October 22nd and culminating on Monday, October 25th, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) will announce winners of three awards recognizing excellence in child advocacy and philanthropy.

Nominations from members of the public are now being accepted for these awards, which can be submitted on the organization’s website at http://oica.org. The three awards are the Steven A. Novick Child Advocacy Award, the Laura Choate Resilience Award, and the Jasmin and Melvin Moran “Kidizenship” Award. “Each of these awards represent something special about those who fight for Oklahoma’s children,” said Joe Dorman, OICA’s CEO. “Steven Novick dedicated much of his legal career to improve the lives of youth in state custody. Laura Choate was one of those for whom Steven fought and she has dedicated her life to that same cause. Continue Reading →

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Oklahoma Optometrists Offer Complimentary Vision Exams on Giving Sight Day: October 2, 2021

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The Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians and its participating members will be hosting the second annual Giving Sight Day on Saturday, October 2. Giving Sight Day is designed for families and individuals in-need to receive complimentary vision care at participating clinics. “Clear vision and healthy eyes are gifts that all Oklahomans should enjoy,” said OAOP President Dr. Randi Day. “That’s why we are committed to providing complimentary services to those who would be otherwise unable to access optometric care. This is a great way for optometric physicians to give back to the communities and the people that we love. The first ever “Giving Sight Day” in 2020 saw OAOP members performing over 350 free eye exams and donating $32,400 of frames and lenses to patients. Participating optometric physicians and clinics are listed below. Continue Reading →

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Sunday, 9/12: OKC’S Fiestas Patrias to be Held at Bicentennial Park

OKLAHOMA CITY – For over 10 years, the Oklahoma City Fiestas Patrias Festival has been the biggest and most official celebration of Mexican and Central American Independence in Oklahoma, attracting people from all over the state to partake in a day of delicious food, live music, folkloric dancing, activities for children, official patrimony ceremonies, and the crowning of Miss Fiestas Patrias. This year’s festival will be held this Sunday, September 12, from 1 PM to 10:30 PM at Bicentennial Park (500 Couch Drive, OKC, OK 73102). The festival is free and open to people of all ages. Fiestas Patrias is organized by Scissortail Community Development Corporation. Scissortail CDC Executive Director Robert Ruiz said it is an event that families look forward to all year. “Fiestas Patrias is a huge coming-out party for our Mexican community, but it’s a great event for people of all backgrounds to attend,” said Ruiz. “Joining the party is a fun way to show solidarity with your Hispanic neighbors while celebrating and learning about a vibrant culture.”
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Care Providers Oklahoma Responds to President Joe Biden’s Nursing Home Vaccine Mandate

New Requirements Could Cause Unprecedented Workforce Catastrophe

OKLAHOMA CITY – Care Providers Oklahoma, the association representing Oklahoma’s skilled nursing professionals and residents, today released the following statement in response to President Joe Biden’s announcement that all skilled nursing staff must be vaccinated:

“Oklahoma’s skilled nursing facilities, through a combination of successful vaccination campaigns and rigorous safety protocols, are now clearly the safest places in Oklahoma for vulnerable seniors when it comes to COVID protection. In the week of August 8-14, for example, the state’s Epidemiology Report indicates that skilled nursing and long-term care (LTC) settings had just 44 new COVID cases among residents across over 600 facilities, representing just .28% of the state’s total portion of new cases. That number has fallen precipitously since the last week of December 2020, when skilled nursing/LTC reported 443 new cases among residents, representing 2.4% of the state’s total caseload. As the Delta variant continues to explode across the state and country, Oklahoma nursing homes have largely kept COVID under control and offered the most successful protection to their residents available anywhere. “For that reason, it is extremely frustrating and disappointing to see the Biden Administration single out nursing homes as the only health care provider facing a federal vaccination mandate. More importantly, this mandate will transform the current workforce shortage in the skilled nursing profession (where administrators report upwards of 20% of jobs are going unfilled) into an untenable crisis that could result in facility closures and the complete abandonment of vulnerable seniors.“Today, approximately 49% of Oklahoma’s skilled nursing staff and 82% of our residents are fully vaccinated, which significantly outpaces the state average of 42%. Continue Reading →

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Tourism group announces McCurtain County entertainment scene still rolling throughout Summer 2021

Hochatown, OK— More entertainment is in store for Southeast Oklahoma as tourism leader “Thingstodoinhochatown.com” announces upcoming live music shows, nightlife and area attractions happening across the region this summer. Thingstodoinhochatown.com is a tourism website free for travelers to use as an activity guide when visiting the popular Broken Bow and Hochatown areas in McCurtain County, Oklahoma. The site also features a Facebook companion with links to pages for restaurants, museums, cabin rentals, outdoor activities and popular destinations. All information on the group’s Facebook page is free to the public as well. The dates and locations for live musical performances and vivacious nightlife events can be discovered with Thingstodoinhochatown.com for tourists who are seeking fresh forms of fun and locals looking for a new experience in their hometown. Continue Reading →

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Child Advocacy Group Awards Grants to Fight Adverse Childhood Experiences

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) awarded a pair of $2,500 grants to two 501(c)3 organizations addressing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The grants were awarded to the Early Childhood Coalition of Payne County for its “HealthySteps” program and Sunbeam Family Services for its “Nurturing Connection through Touch” program. The Early Childhood Coalition of Payne County’s HealthySteps program served 2,524 families in 2020. Of the diverse array of families served, 45% were Medicaid recipients, 71% were non-Hispanic or Latino, 19% unknown, 7% were Hispanic and Latino, and 2% declined to specify. The grant funds will pay for direct services to families enrolled in the program. Continue Reading →

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July 4, Fireworks, Shows, Parades, and God


It started with a suggestion in June, followed by a meeting on July 2, and finally a formal signing on July 4, 1776.  From that moment on, the cry would go up around the world that the colonies of the North American Continent, all thirteen of them, had declared independence from Great Britain.  Like any country, Britain would not take kindly to losing the colonies.  In fact, no country in the history of the world has ever simply said, “Sure, go ahead and leave us and take all the investments we made into your area with you.”  No, instead the greatest empire in the world set out to reclaim the colonies and force them back into the British realm.  The rest of the story, you know as the United States won independence in the war that followed.  To this day, we still hear our friends across the pond in England wish us a “Happy Traitor’s Day.”  Naturally, this is done more in good humor now that we are friends so many years after the revolution. The founding fathers were by no means blind to the fact that they were setting in motion something that would be celebrated for years, and perhaps forever.  John Adams wrote to his wife of the importance of the entire event that officially started on July 2 and ended on July 4.  He sent his letter on July 3, 1776 that included the following statement:

“The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” Continue Reading →

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OICA Names Six “Children’s Legislators of the Year”

OKLAHOMA CITY – Last week, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) released its legislative scorecard for the 1st Session of the 58th Oklahoma Legislature. The scorecard detailed lawmakers’ records on children’s issues. From that nonpartisan evaluation of the voting records of all 101 state representatives and 48 state senators, six lawmakers were named “Children’s Legislators of the Year.”

“Our ‘Children’s Legislators of the Year’ awards honor those state representatives and senators who have gone above and beyond the call of duty on behalf of Oklahoma’s children,” said Joe Dorman, OICA’s CEO. “These are special lawmakers who put Oklahoma’s children first, and we are honored to announce them.”

The “Children’s Legislators of the Year” awards in the Oklahoma Senate go to Sen. Kim David, Senate majority leader and a Republican from Porter; Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City; and Sen. Roger Thompson, Senate Appropriations Committee chair, R-Okemah. Members of the House of Representatives earning “Children’s Legislators of the Year” awards are Rep. Cynthia Roe, R-Lindsay; Jacob Rosecrants, D-Norman; and Rep. Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston, the House’s Appropriations & Budget Committee chair. Continue Reading →

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Local Tourism Group Promoting Independence Day Celebrations near Broken Bow

Broken Bow, OK— Local folks and Tourists of all ages will find many ways to enjoy festive fun this Fourth of July as a regional tourism company has compiled a list of free and festive events happening in the area this holiday. “Things To Do In Hochatown” offers a web page and social media outlets that provide the public with resources, information, updates and announcements for McCurtain County and surrounding areas. (ThingstodoinHochatown.com)

Upcoming Independence Day Events include:

July 1st: Choctaw Casino, Broken Bow, OK

July 2nd: Idabel Bell High School, Idabel, OK

July 3rd: Field of Dreams Fundraiser, @ Samaritan Fields in De Queen, AR. 5:00PM

Live DJ, Obstacle Course, Food, FIFA Tournament and More. All Proceeds go to Samaritan Fields

Jul 4th: Wright City Rodeo, Wright City, OK, Rodeo Grounds Road, 74766

 Bareback Horses, Ranch Broncs, Kid Events, Barrels, Calf Rope, Team Rope, Bulls then Fireworks. Continue Reading →

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OICA Plans Heroes Ball for July

Nominations Open for Anne Roberts People’s Choice Child Advocacy Awards

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy’s annual Heroes Ball – celebrating the Oklahoma’s heroes for children – will be held across two venues and virtually on the Zoom platform. The Oklahoma City venue for the evening will The Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. The Tulsa venue will be in the Greenwood area as this year’s Heroes Ball will pay tribute to those lost and forever changed by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The two venues will both have speakers and will simulcast between each other as well as webcast to those who attend remotely across the Zoom platform. The 2020 Heroes Ball was conducted at the height of the pandemic and was fully virtual as it was webcast across the Zoom platform. Continue Reading →

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