“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is
happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton The Sunday after Halloween, as I was eating leftover candy and putting away
my sculls and ravens for more acceptable general “fall” decor, I heard it: a
Christmas commercial. In fact, it was for Hallmark’s 55 Days of Christmas.
This, coupled with the fact that Christmas decorations are already on sale
everywhere I go, goes to show that Thanksgiving is quickly losing ground as
an American institution, and I won’t sit idly by and watch it happen.
Each year, people claim there’s a “war on Christmas,” but this year, I want us to fight the
war on Thanksgiving.
While the true origins of Thanksgiving may not be widely known, the thought behind it
is indeed sincere. President Abraham Lincoln declared a “national Day of Thanksgiving
and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” This was when it was
declared a federal and public holiday. However, earlier Americans were celebrating long
In 1777, while the Continental Congress was meeting in a temporary location in York,
Penn., due to the British occupation of our then-national capital at Philadelphia, a note
of thanks was issued. Samuel Adams (the person, not the beer) drafted the First National
Proclamation of Thanksgiving. Congress later adapted the final version, which, in part,
“…That it may please Him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of
these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole: To inspire our
Commanders, both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and
Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty
God, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, Independence
Our first Thanksgiving wasn’t meant to imitate a festive coming together of the pilgrims
and Native Americans; it was to call upon a greater power while we were at war, trying
desperately to establish ourselves as an independent nation. If there is a holiday worth
celebrating in America, Thanksgiving is worth it. So, hold off on your Christmas trees
and carols and let the turkey have his time.
I hope you’ll join my War For Thanksgiving by expressing gratitude toward family, friends,
and others who have helped you this year. I’ll go first: while we will continue giving
thanks for all of our readers, community friends
and people who are able to keep our magazines
running, we’re also expressing sincere gratitude
for allowing us, artists, writers, photographers
& designers, to practice our crafts and remain
independent. Without you, we simply wouldn’t
have a job. So, thank you, thank you, thank you.
The City of Edmond has an incredible amount of activities
on December 5th and we at High Five are happy to give you
a breakdown of the day’s events to ensure that you make
the most of it! From running to shopping to live music—
whatever your interests are, Edmond’s got it for you!
For the fine arts lover:
Musical Theater Christmas Show – Naughty & Nice & a Little
7:30pm at the UCO Jazz Lab, come enjoy a festivity-filled
evening of your favorite holiday tunes sung by some of
UCO’s finest vocalists. Reservations are strongly encouraged
– call 405-974-3375. Tickets are $22.
Boys Ranch Town Drive-Thru Christmas Pageant
7:00-9:00pm and located at 5100 SE 33rd St, the Boys Ranch
Town Christmas Pageant has been an annual service to the
community and community visitors since 1971. This living
nativity scene presents the miracle of Christmas. For details
of inclement weather, call 405-341-3606. The event is free;
donations are accepted.
UCO Choirs Concert
Beginning at 7:30pm in UCO’s Mitchell Hall Theater.
Tickets can be purchased online at Mitchellhalltheater.com,
or by calling 405-974-3375.
For the runner:
Holiday Hustle 5K
What better way to begin your holiday celebrations than
with the Holiday Hustle? Located on the Eagle Trail at
Oklahoma Christian University, this event is for everyone.
From the trained 5K runners to the first time 5K runners
to the kid runners (age 4-9 kids’ run), the whole family can
enjoy live Christmas music, local high school mascots, and
a pancake breakfast! The course is a USATF certified course
that is very flat and fast. For extra information go to oc.edu/
Holiday Lights Run
Starting at 2:00pm, runners of all ages can enjoy a 5K and
1-mile fun run/walk at Mitch Park in Edmond. Registration
is through EventBright.com. For extra information, visit
edmondparks.com or call 405-359-4630.
For the adventurer:
Breakfast with Santa
From 9:00am to 11:00am, children ages 2-12 can enjoy
time eating with Santa. Located in Mitch Park, the $10
registration is required by
November 30th. Call 405-359-
4630 or see edmondparks.com for
Christmas in Downtown Edmond
Shop Edmond for all your holiday
gift giving. Experience the wonder
of the season as you stop back in
time with carriage rides, historic
tours, visits with Santa, and
musical entertainment! Enjoy a
free carriage ride from 11:00am to
4:00pm. See downtownedmondok.
com for details.
Edmond Electric Parade of Lights
Beginning at 6:45pm and staring
on the campus of UCO, watch as
the moving light display parades
down the streets of downtown
Edmond—a tradition the whole
family can enjoy. See edmondelectric.com for more details.
Edmond Outdoor Ice Skating Rink
There’s nothing like slipping and sliding along the ice with
your friends! Located at Mitch Park (1501 W. Covell), this
outdoor ice skating rink offers open sessions so that you
may come and go at your leisure.
Complete with food concessions,
free adjacent parking, and indoor
restrooms, enjoy a night full of
camaraderie on the ice. Visit
Mayor’s Tree Lighting and Essay
Come celebrate the holidays with
caroling, the lighting of the tree,
and the reading of the winning
essays of this year’s Mayors Essay
Contest for 1st-5th graders,
ending the night with a parade!
Event is free; see Edmondparks.
com for more information.
Written by Kennedy McAlister
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season often
leads to an overload of consumerism and stress.
It seems you can’t turn around without the urge
to buy this and purchase that. Though it’s all well
and good to buy fun gifts for your loved ones, the
meaning behind the holiday season sometimes gets pushed
aside with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday madness.
Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday), Dec. 1, 2015, is wholly dedicated
to taking time to think of others who truly need help.
The program is a global day centering around giving generously
to those who need it the most. The local Edmond, Oklahoma
City & Choctaw and Harrah communities are getting involved,
too. All it takes is a quick search on givingtuesday.org to locate
a charity that’s participating. A few nonprofits taking part are
HOPE Center of Edmond, Orphan Relief Effort Inc., Regional
Food Bank of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy
and the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools. So
on Giving Tuesday, take the time to give back to your local community—
you’ll be happy you did.
Written by Katy Fabrie
GRIEF & THE HOLIDAYS I am far from an expert in this realm. In fact,
everything I am about to share I can almost
guarantee was advice I picked up along the way,
as the journey through the grief process does
not exactly come naturally. I can say that getting
through the holidays without your loved ones is…
tough, to say the least. From being too far away on the
map to see them, to losing them to the inevitable, not
having the option to share this season with the ones
you love can be dang near unbearable. For me, this will
be the first holiday season without my mother. Only
time will tell how well I can actually brave the next
couple of months. However, I do have a pretty good
idea of what it will take to keep myself healthy and do
a little more than just go through the motions.
As this season continues to slowly creep up, I cannot
help but almost obsess over the fact that I will not
wake up on Christmas morning to a stocking filled
by “Santa” and seeing the satisfaction she got out of
spoiling me with awesome trinkets. I literally woke up
every single Christmas morning to date to her smile.
It is pretty wild that this tradition not only lost all of
its joy, but it has ended completely. An article I read
from my mother’s hospice team mentioned that there
is always a possibility to start a new tradition, a new
normal. My first thought was that they are crazy for
saying that I can simply replace this tradition with a
new one and be content with it. However, the more I
think about it, the more it makes sense. And the more
I get excited about what it is exactly that I am going to
do in her memory that she will absolutely love and be
proud of. The possibilities are endless.
My boss mentioned in passing that a good way to spin
a situation like this into something constructive and
fulfilling is to do something for someone else. It really
got me thinking… I need to do what she would want
me to do with my time. She would absolutely hate for
me to feel sorry for myself and hide out for a couple
of months (which
in all honesty, seems ideal).
Instead, I am determined to
funnel my energy and
emotions into something
that positively impacts
someone else, in turn, positively
It will be awesome reaping the benefits
of helping others. However, it is definitely
just as important to help my own self… mentally,
physically, and emotionally. It is okay to feel bad, but
it is also okay to feel good, which is something that I
have to give myself constant reminders about. I have
found that talking about her and sharing the memories
of our traditions with those people in my life that love
her like I do is definitely one thing that makes me
feel good. Another thing that has kept me going this
whole time, is knowing that I am not alone. Everyone
is fighting their own battle. It is up to you to figure out
how you will conquer yours.
Erika Raschke is Director of ATI (all things important) at
High Five Media Group and is a living example that positivity
and vulnerability, along with time, can heal people.
A Land Full of
If you ask elementary-aged children in the United
States about Thanksgiving’s origins, they will likely
relay a story about the pilgrims’ arrival to North
America and the ensuing feast, symbolizing the
budding unity between the pilgrims and the Native
Americans. Though this version is simple, it highlights an
important underlying sentiment. As the pilgrims’ arrived
on North American shores, they also arrived at a new
beginning, full of possibilities and full of promise.
Nearly 400 years later, this spirit of promise still carries on
in projects like Turning Point Ministries’ Heritage Village.
Turning Point Ministries began in 2008, and their goal as
a non-profit organization is to provide affordable housing
for hard-working families and individuals with moderate
“If you research the average cost of a new home in Edmond,
it’s well over $200,000,” Josh Moore, president of Turning
Point Ministries, said. “We realized that there is a big gap
there for a lot of people that work and live in Edmond that
can’t afford that right now.”
In an effort to meet this need, Turning Point began building
houses for those who fell into the gap. However, the
ministry is not in the business of simply giving away homes.
“We have all types of demographics in Edmond, but we
don’t necessarily have a group of new homes that are part of
that demographic,” Moore said. “In our minds, it provides
a home for a large group of the population that lives and
works in Edmond and helps make up everything that
Edmond is. Our goal is not just to build homes and sell
them and hand over the keys and walk away. Our goal as an
organization is to try to wrap our hands around the entire
This vision is evident in the way that Turning Point interacts
with recipients of its homes. A family or individual is
chosen for a home after meeting eligibility requirements
and completing a comprehensive application process.
Eligibility requirements include demonstrating a need
to live in Edmond, having a stable and reliable income,
and providing a small down payment for the home.
Additionally, applicants must put in 300 hours of service
throughout the community, 200 of which can be completed
with the help of family and friends and 100 of which must
be through work on Turning Point projects. After the
application process and volunteer hours are completed,
homes are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Each family or individual chosen to receive a home is
assigned a mentor, attends classes, and volunteers their time
for the construction of their home and toward community
service. Turning Point focuses on teaching the recipients
the basics of homeownership, including budgeting, saving,
and participating as a good neighbor in their neighborhood
community. Turning Point then sells the home to the
recipient through a low-interest mortgage with affordable
The ministry has already completed fifteen homes, all
of which are located in Turning Point’s Legacy Station
neighborhood. Now, Turning Point is preparing to break
ground in Heritage Village, a new neighborhood of homes,
located on Fretz Avenue between Second Street and
Danforth. Heritage Village has 37 lots in total, and Turning
Point’s goal is to build two to four houses at a time.
These goals are made possible through various avenues of
generosity. When the project first began to take shape, the
City of Edmond awarded Turning Point Ministries a grant
for $500,000 to provide funding for public infrastructure,
including paving for interior streets and the neighborhood’s
sidewalks, sanitary sewer lines, water lines, and storm sewer
systems. In addition, Bockus Payne Associates Architects
provided architectural design for the homes of Heritage
Village and St. John the Baptist Catholic Church donated
the neighborhood’s playground.
“We were very attracted to the vision they cast of creating
a neighborhood that had a strong sense of identity and
community,” Bruce Bockus, president of Bockus Payne
Associates Architects, said. “To use our gifts and talents as
architects to help others is always a blessing.”
As each new piece comes together, Heritage Village is one
step closer to providing families with new and affordable
“We’re planning on starting the first two homes in the next
60 days, so we’re getting geared up,” Moore said. Moore
and Turning Point Ministries are not alone in preparing
for progress in Heritage Village, however. On Thanksgiving
Day, downtown Edmond will host its annual Edmond
Turkey Trot, which is one of Turning Point’s biggest
fundraising efforts. As a deeply revered American tradition,
Thanksgiving often encompasses a spirit of giving, and
although the thought of beginning Thanksgiving with a 5K
run may not appeal to everyone, participants are running
for a good cause. All of the proceeds for the Edmond
Turkey Trot will benefit Turning Point Ministries, which
will in turn aid in the construction and development of
Heritage Village. With each step towards the finish line,
another brick can be laid into a wall that will transform into
a family’s new home.
“Last year, we passed the $30,000 mark, which is a huge
goal and a significant fundraiser for us. We would love to
grow that,” Moore said. Turning Point’s current community
partners include Edmond Electric and Citizens Bank of
Edmond, and there are a variety of ways that the Edmond
community, including you, can help Heritage Village grow.
For starters, you can register to participate in the Edmond
Turkey Trot. The event is open to all ages and includes a 5K
run and a one-mile wobble. Early registration for the trot
ends November 20 at 2:30 p.m. Registration prices for the
5K run are $26 with a T-shirt and $20 without a T-shirt.
The one-mile wobble is $20 with a shirt and $10 without a
shirt. The Turkey Trot is also looking for volunteers to help
prepare and work the event. For more information about
the trot, you can visit edmondturkeytrot.com.
Turning Point Ministries is also always in need of both
volunteer and monetary support. Volunteering with
Turning Point provides an opportunity to directly impact
a family by assisting in the construction of their home
or simply helping them to move in to their new home.
You can also contribute through a financial donation or
participate in Turning Point’s sponsorship program. All of
these are opportunities to serve and give back during the
Perhaps the most inspiring part of Heritage Village’s story is
its location. Though it’s near Edmond’s center, just west of
downtown, this area of Edmond is tucked away and often
overlooked. If you travel north on Fretz Avenue, toward
Danforth, you’ll encounter various twists and turns as the
road curves around the homes of old Edmond, and around
one of these bends, on your left, you’ll see a street sign,
spelling “Promise Road.” This is where you’ll find Heritage
Village – a wide-open expanse of land, sliced through by
two paved roads and sectioned off in places where houses
will sit. If you look closely enough, you can almost envision
a full neighborhood, where families both live and thrive.
The land holds the whisper of future life, and much like
the North American coastline in the age of the pilgrims,
this new development, though nearly empty, is full of
possibilities and full of promise.
For more information on Turning Point Ministries or
Heritage Village, visit turningpointoklahoma.org.
Written by Sarah Neese
Photographed by Jonathan Burkhart
Sooners Helping Sooners
CHANGING LIVES OFF OF THE FIELD
Of the 1,093,234 high school football players
that gleam under the Friday night lights,
only 6.5 percent will play in college. Of the
college stars that we cheer on at bowl games,
bedlam, and national championship victories
approximately 1.6 percent of those young men will make it
to the ultimate level – the NFL. Lets say you are from the
University of Oklahoma (OU) and have made it to being a
professional football player. You’re living a dream, achieved
by very few, and in a career that spans an average of three
– five years, if you are lucky. Taxes, agent fees, and the
procurement of eye popping luxury items will all be tied
to that “big contract” and when the pro career is over, then
That’s where Sooners Helping Sooners, Inc. comes in. Founded
by University of Oklahoma icon J.D. “Jakie” Sandefer III,
this nonprofit stands with the mission to positively impact
the lives of former University of Oklahoma student-athletes
and their families by providing opportunities for personal
development, education and rewarding career paths. The
organization was formalized in 2014 and is currently
headed by the winning combination of Sooner legends Jerry
Pettibone and Jay O’Neal. Despite its strong football ties,
Sooners Helping Sooners, Inc is committed to assisting all
former student athletes, and is inclusive of all sports and
Two-time National Championship winner, and former
University of Oklahoma coach, Jay O’Neal, at one point in
time also headed the summer job program for OU student
athletes. During that time students were able to garner
summer internships and gain real world experience in their
chosen field of study. Given today’s fierce competition this
is no longer a viable option. Student athletes spend the
majority of their summers away from their families in intense
University sponsored summer workouts. So regardless if an
individual athlete elects to go pro or finishes their 4-year
degree program, their resumes read the same – no corporate
“They’re walk ons to the job market”, O’Neal said, “raw talent”.
This is a place that may be familiar to many athletes on the
field or court, however, after earning a college degree, this in
no way can be anyone’s desired endgame. Sooners Helping
Sooners, Inc assists these former college student athletes by
transforming what they have learned from playing sports:
hard work, applying oneself, and work ethic, into success in
the job world. By no means is this process a mere handout.
Former student athletes compete, like all new graduates,
for entry level jobs, but instead of having a resume full of
internships, industry experience and references, they have
Sooners Helping Sooners, Inc. as their advocates.
“In the beginning we called up our own resources,” recalls
Jay O’Neal. Many times if they had an outstanding candidate,
they would call upon a friend, and ask “businesses to give
people a try”. Now this was never a guarantee of a job, just an
opportunity to be seen, and given a chance – former athletes
still had to prove themselves in the interview.
From these humble beginnings, our state has benefited
greatly. Sooners Helping Sooners Inc has introduced the oil
and gas, service corporations, pharmaceuticals sales, truck
driving, insurance, banking, and other industries within our
state to an often overlooked, vastly capable group of young
people eager to get into the work force. For Jay O’Neal it’s
more than just helping someone get a job. “Many of them
have families they need to provide for and we help them do
that” explains O’Neal. For this passionate group, it’s about
building a legacy for student athletes at Oklahoma’s largest
university. Former OU tight end, Bubba Moses is part of that
Moses was part of OU’s conference championship teams
from 2002 TO 2006 and participated in four Bowl Games
(Rose, Sugar, Orange and Holiday). In 2006 he graduated
from OU with a degree in criminal justice and returned
to his hometown of Houston, TX to work in a juvenile
detention center. “Playing at the University of Oklahoma,
everybody puts you on a pedestal and doesn’t prepare you for
the next [step]”, explains Moses. He also reflects back on his
college years and adds, “Personally, I didn’t take advantage of
the resources that the University of Oklahoma had to offer
because playing football [at OU] is the top thing on your list,
ya know.” For Bubba, a superior athlete that never made it to
the NFL, the reality check came quick. He rationalizes, “As
the years go on, while you’re in school, when you don’t see it
playing out how you want it to play out, then it’s like you’re
stuck in the mud. Then you say, ‘What will I do?’” A few years
ago, Moses met Jakie and his luck began to change. “They put
you in a position to succeed, to be successful” he continues
“They opened up numerous doors for me that would’ve
never opened without Sooners Helping Sooners, and it just
continues to grow.” Today, Moses and his family reside in
Fresno, TX, where he works in oil and gas, due in large part
to his experience with Sooners Helping Sooners, Inc. “They
are a wonderful organization. They are part of my family, and
my wife loves them and I do too as well,” concludes Moses.
For those in need of job placement services, an application
for Sooners Helping Sooners, Inc, is a simple click away,
when you access soonershelpingsooners.com. In addition to
employment, Sooners Helping Sooners, Inc points former
pros in need of financial planners, in the right direction.
Career center sessions are also offered to aid job seekers to
build on their speaking abilities and professional personal
appearance. This model for identifying and preparing young
people to achieve personal aspirations and career goals is
brought to fruition through an ever-growing number of
partnerships, in a diverse myriad of job fields. This particular
vision for empowering former college student athletes is
made possible by the support of businesses and individual
contributions, nationwide as well as one very special
fundraiser – the Barry Switzer Classic.
Held at the Belmar Golf Club, the Barry Switzer Classic
boasts 18 holes of Oklahoma’s best golf in celebration of
Coach Switzer’s birthday and in support of Sooners Helping
Sooners, Inc. Entrants can register as individuals or on the
higher end of the sponsorship spectrum. For a few hundred
ultimate OU fans, this is an event provides up close and
personal access to OU supporters like Oklahoma’s own
Toby Keith and former Sooner players and coaches. The
all day affair features awards, dinner, and an auction with
this bottom line – the majority of all proceeds go to benefit
future former college student athletes involved with Sooners
Sooners Helping Sooners, Inc. is constantly looking to grow
their network and welcomes support from individuals and
area businesses. For more information on Sooners Helping
Sooners, Inc. you can visit their website, get connected on
their app, or simply keep it interactive on social media. In
this season of thanks, I’m sure we all are grateful for at least
one chance someone gave us to better ourselves, in life, and
nothing feels better than giving back.
Written by Carmen Coffee
Photo by Jim Roberson
OC Opens Its Doors
Oklahoma Christian University, with its
popular hashtag #OCisHome, is home to
over 2,000 young adults during the school
year. From all over the country and the
world, the OC community changes lives and
cultivates even the unlikeliest of friendships daily.
“One of the things that makes OC so great is its community.
The bonds between the students are unlike any others I’ve
experienced. I really think that’s because of the students’
like-minded thoughts toward service and reaching out
into the community,” one student expressed. Oklahoma
Christian is giving back to its community in some way
or another every time you turn around. One of the OC
community’s favorite ways to give back happens on Trickor-
The freshmen women’s dorm on OC’s campus, Gunn-
Henderson, opens its doors to the children of the Edmond
community one night during the week of Halloween.
“It’s a great time for the girls to take a breather and
remember the important things,” a former Resident
Director says. “Halloween comes around the time in the
semester when stress levels are getting high—especially for
the freshmen. Their classes have kicked fully into gear and
they realize that it’s a little different than their high school
The lesson the girls take away from the experience is vital
to OC’s motto: “OC is Home; OC Grows; OC is Mission.”
Their new home, stressful and school-ridden as it may be,
challenges them to grow to be better and equips them with
the tools to do that through serving others.
Hundreds of children pile through the halls of Gunn-
Henderson, greeted by hundreds of college freshmen girls
who are dressed up, decked out, and ready to go. Girls
decorate their doors and halls to welcome the kids for a
fun night. But it’s just as fun for the college girls as it is the
children. Eloise Wright, a current Resident Assistant, says
that the night is great for the girls because it gives them a
chance to interact with those in their hallway.
“I tell them that everything is a perk,” she said. “Gunn
Henderson seems a lot like a dungeon of sorts most of the
time, and I can’t wait for the opportunity to interact with
all kinds of people in our own halls.” Laine Weatherford,
an upperclassmen, recounted her time as a freshman
during the trick or treat night: “Getting to see all the kids
was a blast, but getting see my fellow peers and give back
to the community was even more wonderful. Halloween
is still relatively early in the semester, so it was a great
bonding night for us all to dress in costume and serve the
community alongside each other. You never know how close
a community can grow together until you serve together.
The strongest impacts on the world come from groups of
people who are working together under the same mission.”
In this instance, OC’s mission is to make the world a
homier, more inviting place.
The encouraging community of OC transcends to each
new freshmen class. A current freshman, Rachel Parrett,
expressed why she chose to come to OC: “The people of
OC are full of light that glimmers hope to its surroundings!
I’m so lucky to be in the presence of that light for the next
four years. Everyone cares so for each other on such a deep,
compassionate level and it’s evident on campus every day.
Being surrounded by this love encourages me to love others
deeply as well.” The inviting nature of OC attracts students
from all over the globe and inspires everyone who comes
into contact with it.
A parent and OC Registrar, Dr. Stephanie Baird brings
her child to trick-or-treat night. She comments on the
OC student community from an outside perspective: “OC
does a lot of things to reach out and involve itself in the
surrounding community. [Trick-or-treating is] fun because,
for many people, taking their kids trick-or-treating in the
dorms is an activity that is local and convenient. But I also
think they enjoy it because it is a safe environment. I know
that I love seeing my students in their dorm building and
how excited they get to see little kids dressed up and trickor-
treating on their hallway.”
OC president, John deSteiguer explains in an OC video,
“Home is where you learn. Home is where you grow. Home
is where you take some risks. Home is where you connect.
Home prepares you to go out into the world. It prepares you
to make a living, but more importantly, it prepares you to
make a life. Oklahoma Christian University is home.”
OC teaches kids to take the essence of home with
its inviting, warm nature and infuse it into whatever
community they find themselves. More often than not,
OC shows them that finding the essence of home is simply
seeing the community of people around them in their
day-to-day lives and bringing a light to them. Whatever
the community, whether trick-or-treating, running in the
Memorial Marathon, or volunteering at Feed the Children,
OC makes a point to bring the presence of “home” to it,
making the world a little brighter and more inviting.
Oklahoma Christian University hosts a trick-or-treat night
every Halloween week. This year the event took place on
Thursday, October 29th, from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Written & Photographed by Kennedy McAlister
It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times, it’s holiday baking. We know the struggles of holiday cooking, and we’re here
to help you out! Whatever your holiday traditions are—conventional or unconventional—we have the perfect options
to make your holiday eating more enjoyable and less of a hassle. - Kennedy McAlister
Arbuckle Mountain Original Fried Pies (3721 N.W. 50th St., OKC)
The famous I-35 Davis, OK stop brings their fried goodies to Oklahoma City. It’s perfect
for the family who likes untraditional holiday desserts—you can order a variety of their
fried pies for your family dinner. Their special holiday pies include raisin, apple raisin
pecan, pumpkin and sweet potato.
Pie Junkie (1711 NW 16th St., OKC)
Featured in Buzzfeed.com’s article, “24 of the Most Delicious Pies in America”, Pie Junkie’s
Drunken Turtle pie reigns supreme. Order their Pumpkin Crumble with a maple bourbon
whip and sweet potato pies, and be on the lookout for their Orange Bourbon Pecan pie! They
consider themselves to be a Gluten-friendly bakery, and they can make truly gluten free pies
with 48 hours notice for customers with celiac disease.
That Pie Place (Food Truck)
A new food truck in the OKC Metro area, That Pie Place not only provides delicious
pies; it creates a fun outing for your family! Follow them on Twitter or Instagram (@
ThatPiePlaceOK) to find where they are from day to day, or visit their website (thatpieplaceok.
com) to find out how you can order whole pies.
Sherri’s Pies (704 SW 59th St., OKC)
Perfect for the hostess who has lots of food to make,
Sherri’s pink-lit interior matches the fun-loving, homey
style of their pies. Order in advance one of their
special holiday pies: pumpkin and caramel apple pecan.
Kitchen No. 324 (Downtown OKC)
Kitchen 324’s savory Chicken Pot Pie features all the holiday
goodness with a twist—a fried chicken leg in the middle
of it! Their dessert pies are freshly made in-house every
morning: coconut crème, pecan, and this fall you can enjoy
a pumpkin pie. Perfect for the family who goes out to eat for
What does it mean to be a runner?
People run for fun, for exercise or for
therapy. People gear up at ungodly
morning hours just to go outside and
pound pavement. People run with their pets, they run with
their iPods, they run with their ever-moving thoughts and
they do so systematically or occasionally or erratically.
A History of Greatness
The OK Runner in Norman knows the myriad reasons
people run. They understand the different types of runners
and the different types of gear each of those runners require.
Opened in 1995 the Norman location of OK Runner has not
only survived for 20 years of business, but they have thrived.
A family-owned business, the original owners of the store
tracked their ancestors’ business back to the 1900s. Such
deep roots was one reason the owners decided to plant their
first store in the heart of Cleveland County.
“We chose running because we knew something about
it and we loved the people who we ran with,” said Gus
Thompson, Partner of OK Runner. “We wanted to figure
out a way to serve them.”
OK Runner expanded its reach in 2006, opening a location
in Edmond in the Spring Creek Village. The mission of OK
Runner is simple: “Give all guests a friendly experience
and provide them with excellent customer service, products
and expert knowledge they need.” It is that mission that
has guided the successful business and the reason it is
celebrating its 20 year anniversary this year.
A Different Kind of Shoe Store
Indeed, local runners remain loyal to a brand in the same
way a runner remains loyal to his or her reliable running
trail. OK Runner has remained successful despite the push
for online shopping. Alive before the almighty internet,
OK Runner has carved out a niche that has been able to
weather the online shopping storm so many other shoe
stores have fallen victim to. Thompson believes its the
customer service that produces such loyalty. Another
edge the business has is its hands-on approach to helping
customers. OK Runner provides foot assessments, personal
analyses and evaluations as well as coaching, injury advice,
clinics, running camps and training programs for its clients,
allowing it a crucial edge over the Amazons of the world.
All of OK Runner’s attributes can’t simply be added to an
online shopping bag—they’re tangible and impactful. OK
Runner also participates in too many yearly, local events to
count, showing its support to the community and people in
“I think there are three reasons the Norman and Edmond
communities have responded so positively to us,” said
Thompson. “First, we’re a locally owned company. We’re not
a national chain. I think a lot of people like doing business
with a small, locally owned-business, especially a familyowned
business. Another reason is we are part of the local
community. We serve with our churches, with our local
government and the Edmond and Norman communities.
Finally, we participate in events. Whenever there’s a local
event like local races, walks or charity events, OK Runner is
A Stellar Support System
With 20 years of experience comes many ups and downs;
however, it’s the people that keep the employees of the
running shop coming back day after day. A simple scroll
through OK Runner’s website and social media accounts
reveals that the employees value their customers above
everything else. Photos of young, happy, sweaty runners,
elite athletes and middle aged running groups pepper
the pages. The support is tangible. It is this attitude of
acceptance, no matter the skill level or running ability,
that seems to set the OK Runner apart from other cultlike
establishments. Thompson noted OK Runner’s
demographic is diverse and inclusive and one of the reasons
the store has been so successful. Support and an established
support system are two more positive attributes that OK
Runner has. Thompson attributed much of the business’
success to his family’s constant support and involvement
in the business. He also noted the things OK Runner’s
customers appreciate most about the established business.
“Our customer’s appreciate the face-to-face interaction
with our staff. They know they can get more than just a
pair of shoes when they come in. They like to talk about
their training program, their injury history and what’s new
in the market. They respect our opinions, advice, and our
knowledge of the products.”
The employees also make OK Runner unique. It is evident
that they are more like family than coworkers. Their
favorite running moments range from succeeding in their
college-level cross country meets to running in mountain
trails with their pups to becoming NCAA D1 All-American
to Turkey Trottin’ it up with their dads on Thanksgiving
morning. The wide range of interests allows each employee
to reach people in different ways. Those trying to break
their last marathon record are just as welcome as those
looking forward to completing their first ever 5K. In fact,
Thompson mentioned that the majority of OK Runner’s
customers are average, three-times-a-week runners. He
said the belief that all the customers are elite, marathon
runners, is inaccurate. Thompson said the elite runners
make up the smallest percentage of clients, with the second
largest being those individuals who rarely exercised and
were looking for supportive shoes for their everyday life.
The welcoming environment of OK Runner makes even the
most novice runner (or television enthusiast) feel welcomed
Whether you’ve hit the trails in Edmond or Norman,
OK Runner has been there for local runners. The
business’ anniversary celebration serves as a reminder
of its contributions to the community and its important
placement in both Edmond and Norman. Through its many
outreach programs, running support systems and quality
products, it’s assured that the business will be here for many
more runs to come.
The thought of having to engage in some type of conflict is frequently accompanied by an impending
sense of doom. This is understandable as, unfortunately, conflict has received a bad rap over the
years—mainly because so often conflict is not handled very well. The product of poorly handled
conflict is frustration, hurt, and even isolation. However, conflict is a part of life, and it’s not going
anywhere no matter how hard we try to rid our lives of it. Does this mean we are destined to a hopeless
life full of useless conflict? Surely not!
Through working with individuals and couples in counseling, or even with groups of men in anger management
and other classes, I have noticed people wrestling with a common theme. Most, if not all, of them desire intimacy
in their relationships. They desire fulfilling and life-giving connection with those around them, but they identify
the main source of conflict in their lives happening in the context of relationships. Why is this an important observation?
First, our greatest joys and our deepest pains happen within the context of relationships. Relationships
are central to life and central to the Gospel. Second, these realities suggest we need a new perspective on conflict,
a new way to think about this ever-present correlation between conflict and relationships.
Well, here it is: INTIMACY is a BYPRODUCT of CONFLICT. To place a finer point on it, INTIMACY is a BYPRODUCT
of CONFLICT DONE WELL. This is really good news! It means the goal of working to connect in
relationships is not to get rid of conflict; rather it is to deal with conflict in healthier ways.
If we desire to experience peace and connection in relationships, we must take on the important task of not only
thinking differently about conflict but also acting differently in response to conflict. Ephesians 4:2-3 gives some
hints about how to get started, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” The Apostle Paul writes this from
prison to the ever-familiar church in Ephesus, a church with quite a history of struggling to deal with conflict
within the congregation. It is important to note that Paul was not offering cheap platitudes about getting along
and being happy; he wrote out of a deep conviction that part of the call of the Gospel is to work towards unity
with those we are in relationship with—not in spite of our differences, but in the context of our differences.
Engaging conflict in healthy ways is hard work … it is important
work … it is necessary work. Engaging conflict in healthy ways is,
in fact, an opportunity for growth and intimacy.
Todd Poe, LPC/LMFT is Pastor of LifeCare Ministry & CareSeries
at Crossings Community Church. Through support and recovery
groups, CareSeries (offered at Crossings on Monday evenings)
provides opportunities for individuals to find hope by participating
with others who are facing similar life challenges. Find details and a
complete schedule at crossingsokc.org/careseries.