Raising A Family
By Chamber President Debra Welch
Free burgers, bounce houses and an outdoor park supplied an afternoon of fun for my 3-year-old granddaughter on Saturday as we enjoyed the annual Co-Op Buffalo Burger Cookout at Fort Sill with approximately 3,000 other members of area families. The night before, we enjoyed colorful shaved ice treats, music, lights, entertainment and an outdoor park at the annual International Festival with thousands of visitors and local residents. Of course, these events came after our regular sidewalk trip via tricycle to my neighborhood park in Lawton.
It is my great fortune that one of Lawton’s signature events, the Spirit of Survival, has a twelve-week training program that brings family members to town each week to run around the streets of Lawton, while I run behind the fastest 3 year old in history through multiple outdoor parks in the area. Outdoor play areas are her favorites. Lawton is privileged to have so many wonderful parks in our community and fortunate that the city continues to invest in these important venues.
Lawton is also blessed to have great organizations who produce a variety of outstanding events that add to our quality of life. My granddaughter wore her first pair of cowboy boots to the Lawton Rangers PRCA Rodeo this year and protested loudly when she had to leave the sandy beaches at LETRA after several sun-filled hours at Military Appreciation Day. Lawton is a great place for family fun.
In addition to the multitude of free recreational opportunities and special events that we enjoy, education entities are setting new standards in Lawton. We have a university that is recognized for providing higher education at a cost that keeps many students away from student debt. Our public schools have received honors in STEM education, while our technology center is a shining star for local workforce training as well as innovative in entrepreneurial support. Lawton has dozens of organizations dedicated to raising the quality of life for all of our citizens from Success by Six to the Senior Center for Creative Living.
Still, we can do better. We can find the good and share it. When we find a challenge, we can work with others to improve it. We can support our local retailers, attend local events, vote in every election, invest in our schools, volunteer and share our ideas and talents.
While I am not raising a family in Lawton, I am enjoying my family in Lawton, and I meet many people who are proud to have multiple generations of their family members living here. I was attracted to Lawton by a career opportunity, which allows me to work with community leaders to create and promote economic opportunities for others. We welcome your participation.