Edmond has a secret. It’s going to be on national television Sunday.
Two locals — Charlie Swearingen, a member of the U.S. Men’s National Sitting Volleyball team, and Connor Karow, a 9-year-old student at Deer Creek Grove Valley Elementary — will appear on the ABC reality show “Secret Millionaire.”
The premise of the show is self-made millionaires go to low-income areas of the country, live on welfare-level wages and find local heroes to whom they donate a chunk of their own money.
Connor was born without his right leg above the knee, said his mother Colleen Karow.
That’s when the Limbs for Life Foundation, a global nonprofit organization at 218 E. Main St. in Oklahoma City, came into play for the Karows.
“They’ve been helping Connor since he was a baby,” Colleen said.
His first leg came at 8 months so he could learn to balance.
The show’s producers brought Connor in to meet Swearingen at the University of Central Oklahoma to learn how to play sitting volleyball. Swearingen also works closely with the nonprofit.
The show’s producers interviewed Connor about his accomplishments and connection with the organization.
Connor is at ease with his local celebrity after the taping for the ABC TV show.
“If I opened my own Facebook page, I’d like the attention of my followers,” said Connor, who dismissively added that he didn’t know how many times he’d been on TV.
Swearingen is a resident athlete at UCO, an official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic training center.
Originally from Gulfport, Miss., Swearingen’s legs were amputated above the ankle at 9 months because his feet did not develop weight-bearing bones, according to the USA Volleyball team’s website.
Both Swearingen and Connor Karow competed in the 13th UCO Endeavor Games, which continues through Sunday. In the show, Anytime Fitness founders Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen volunteer with the organization. The show’s producers told, Pam Timmons, Limbs for Life development director, they were looking for a small nonprofit that was making a huge impact. But made no mention of a donation.
“What they told us was they were producing a documentary on volunteering,” Timmons said.
The crew filmed for a week in August. At the end of the week the show’s producers gathered the volunteers, sans the millionaires, in a circle to do a recap of events.
“We honestly thought we were going to work that day,” Timmons said.
Then the millionaires came out and presented a check to the organization.
Timmons said she’s not allowed to tell the check amount until after the show, but did say that the money given cut the waiting list for prosthetic care from about a year to four months, helping 50 amputees.
Limbs for Life also received new storage bins, a label maker, tools and all the things needed for breaking down donated U.S. prosthetics, which the organization reconditions and sends to about 700 people needing care internationally every year.
Although the millionaires got into the organization through the TV show, they’ve remained as a presence, Timmons said. Runyon has since written a book called “Working Out Sucks,” of which all proceeds go to Limbs for Life, according to the book’s website.
“Secret Millionaire” airs at 7 p.m. Sunday on ABC.
MORE INFORMATION on Limbs for Life can be found at limbsforlife.org or by calling 605-5462.
Episode airs Sunday night on ABC
Edmond has a secret. It’s going to be on national television Sunday.
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North baseballers aid kindergartners
North High School sophomore baseball player Tyler Bowen helps Ida Freeman kindergartners Dakota Prince and Jorge Campuzano pick out a book. Each student received a book, a Christmas cookie and juice and then the baseball team members read to the students.
Rollover crash closes part of north Edmond street
A section of a street in northwest Edmond was closed Thursday afternoon while personnel worked the site of a rollover crash.
The crash occurred along a partly snow-covered stretch of Sorghum Mill Road just west of the Santa Fe-Sorghum Mill intersection. Police, EMSA and fire rescue personnel were working the scene. Both lanes of Sorghum Mill were closed at the time.
Information on injuries or the cause were not immediately available.
Feds indict 3 accused in tag agency thefts
Suspects accused of burglarizing several metro tag agencies including one in Edmond now face federal charges, court records show.
Wednesday, the U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma, released the complaint filed against William Robert Donovan, 40, of Edmond, Richard Bruce Traver, 27, listed as homeless, and Amanda D. Sizemore. Her address information was not available.
Donovan and Traver, who are both in custody at the Oklahoma County jail, and Sizemore, who is not yet in custody, face government allegations of conspiracy to commit offenses against the U.S., aiding and abetting bank fraud and aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft.
If convicted, each defendant faces significant prison time, fines or both.
Defense counsel information was not listed. An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
In the complaint, grand jurors allege that earlier this year, beginning in or before March and continuing through at least June the defendants conspired to commit bank fraud in violation of federal law.
OC will award degrees at winter commencement
Oklahoma Christian University will present 87 undergraduate degrees and 85 graduate degrees at its winter commencement ceremonies Friday and Saturday.
The undergraduate degree candidates come from 16 states and seven countries and majored in a combined 36 academic disciplines at Oklahoma Christian. The master’s degree candidates come from six states and 10 countries, and represent 14 graduate areas of study.
Jim Baird, director of OC’s Honors Program, will deliver the undergraduate commencement address on Friday. Byron Newberry, chair of Oklahoma Christian’s Graduate School of Engineering, will keynote Saturday’s graduate ceremony.
In addition to his director’s role with the Honors Program, Baird is a professor of Bible and philosophy at Oklahoma Christian. He also has served as the preaching minister at Wilshire Church of Christ since 2000. His father, James O. Baird, was Oklahoma Christian’s second president.
Touchmark residents give ‘thumbs up’ to new YMCA
Senior citizens from Touchmark bundled up, braved the cold and the icy roads this week and traveled to the Edmond YMCA Recreation & Aquatic Center at Mitch Park on Covell.
The tour group was one of more than 100 that have been guided through the new facility to show what will be available when it is finished. This $22.5 million facility is a joint project with the the Edmond School District, the City of Edmond and the YMCA.
Joining the group and donning hard hats were Touchmark residents Ellie Lottinville, Judith Harris, Jimmie Cook, John Wayant and Richard Newville along with Carla Scull, Touchmark’s director of life enrichment, and Jesse Walls, driver.
Guthrie-Edmond airport looks to upgrade
The Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport board was told Tuesday by officials from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission that GERA is in good shape but work needs to continue to help maximize everything the airport has to offer.
The board was given a presentation by OAC director Vic Bird and Dale Williams, OAC planning division manager about the state of the aviation industry in Oklahoma and how airports the size of GERA are faring.
AAA: Teens report ‘TWD’ significantly less than adults
High school-aged teens report using their phones or texting while driving substantially less often than adults do, according to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
While the public often cites teens as being the most common offenders, a recent survey found that adult drivers ages 25-39 were the most likely to admit engaging in these risky behaviors behind the wheel.
Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, said young novice drivers, who are especially susceptible to distracted driving crashes, are using their phones while driving less than older drivers.
AAA to offer free Tipsy Tow rides
Before climbing behind the wheel after drinking at a holiday party, AAA Oklahoma hopes you’ll think again and call them for a free Tipsy Tow ride home for you, your vehicle and one more person.
“Over Christmas and New Year’s, up to 40 percent of all traffic crashes involve alcohol,” said Edmond resident Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “But motorists do have options: Use a designated driver, serve non-alcoholic mocktails at parties or call AAA for a Tipsy Tow.”
Paycom plans HoliDazzle event to benefit Warmth 4 Winter Coat Drive
Paycom has teamed with News Channel 4, The Salvation Army and Rotary Club of South Oklahoma City to host HoliDazzle, a free event at Remington Park on Thursday to kick-off the annual Warmth 4 Winter coat drive.
Parents and children are encouraged to bring a new or gently used coat from 3:30-7:30 p.m. to help ensure that every child and adult stays warm during Oklahoma’s harsh winter months. Those who contribute are encouraged to enjoy an afternoon of holiday fun with train rides, pictures with Santa, hot cocoa and cookies.
Lilyfield reschedules ‘Dunks for Diapers’
Lilyfield Christian Adoption and Foster Care has rescheduled its Dunks for Diapers event.
Lilyfield holds a diaper drive with the Oklahoma Christian University Women’s basketball team to benefit foster children. Anyone bringing diapers, wipes or new baby items for ages 0-24 months will gain free admission to the women’s game versus Lubbock Christian University, which will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Eagles’ Nest on the campus of Oklahoma Christian in Edmond.
“This will allow us to give foster families much-needed necessities when they receive placement of a foster child. Often placements happen with little notice and the child may come into a foster home with nothing but the clothes they are wearing,” said Holly Towers, executive director of Lilyfield Christian Adoption and Foster Care.
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