A local student has given more than 490 volunteer hours to the community since 2009.
Along the way, Hannah Hartzog has learned many life lessons. This summer she was recognized with the first Edmond Excellence Award for her efforts. The award was given by the Edmond LibertyFest Scholarship committee. LibertyFest is an all-volunteer organization that produces 10 days worth of events leading up to the Fourth of July in Edmond.
Hannah, the daughter of Jim and Carol Hartzog of Edmond, was chosen for the service-based award from a group of students who each submitted an essay, a letter of recommendation, a questionnaire and total service hours.
“A board read the material from the applicants and chose someone that represented leadership among his or her peers and a servant’s heart,” said Alexandra Eppler with the LibertyFest Scholarship committee. “Hannah was the first person ever to receive the award and is truly an outstanding individual.”
Hannah began volunteering when she was in the third grade.
“My mom first got me into volunteering when I was about 8 years old and in the third grade,” Hannah said. “We were in the car one day and she was talking about the HOPE Center and how much fun it would be for us to volunteer there and help others by folding clothes and going through bags of donated items. We determined what should go to the Center’s resale shop, or what would be sold in bulk and what should be tossed. Also, I was able to help families pick out clothes and children (pick out) toys. In addition, two weeks of the summer was spent on the Back-to-School Backpack program, readying supplies for needy children. l was so excited and, ever since, l’ve been volunteering there.”
HOPE Center of Edmond is a nonprofit social service agency that serves individuals and families by providing emergency food, clothing, household items and financial assistance. The agency has been serving the Edmond community for 28 years. HOPE Center is a volunteer-based organization.
“Hannah is dedicated to helping others and has demonstrated compassion and kindness in her volunteer work. She is a natural leader, who truly leads by example. Hannah is energetic, and is not afraid to express her ideas on how to better serve the community,” said Cheryl Woods, HOPE Center volunteer coordinator.
Hannah is now a freshman at North High School, and in keeping with her goal to become a pediatric physical therapist, she applied to be an athletic trainer and was one of five freshmen chosen.
“Hannah works well in groups and is always willing to do her part and more if that is what is needed,” said Hannah’s eighth-grade science teacher and Edmond North wrestling head coach Andy Schneider.
He added Hannah had expressed an interest in pursuing a career in the medical field after high school and college, and in order to prepare for this, she was interested in the athletic training program at Edmond North.
Random Acts of Kindness Month was begun in Edmond in 2012 in answer to a presentation of Rachel’s Challenge.
“Rachel’s Challenge represents how much a teen named Rachel impacted not only people from her school, Columbine High School in Colorado, but people in her community too,” Hannah said. “She wanted everyone to start random acts of kindness, causing a chain reaction that is contagious. Rachel was killed in a mass shooting at the school.”
Hannah added Rachel’s Challenge impacted her emotionally and physically. She said she has become more caring and heartfelt about how much other people are hurting and she works on being their friend.
“When we watched the movie clip about Rachel’s impact on others I couldn’t help but feel how much that one presentation impacted me, I wanted to get involved,” Hannah said.
Hannah said in her community she sees many people volunteering by picking up trash or helping someone with a flat tire. She added when her family sees homeless people on the side of the road they give them an information card about the homeless shelter, where their real needs can be met.
“Also, I love when you are at Starbucks or any fast-food restaurant, and you start a chain reaction by paying for the person’s drink or food behind you. It’s so contagious and hopefully the person after you does the same thing. My mom and I had fun doing it and watching their reaction in the rearview mirror.”
Hannah said her favorite act of kindness is volunteering at different locations.
“Of those, I felt most gratified working at Infant Crisis Center because, as an adopted child, l could relate to the teen parents with their children. I got to hold and care for babies and chat with the parents; organize new and used clothing and infant/toddler supplies and clean the play toys daily.”
Hannah said, “l volunteer to help me understand how I can help change someone’s life by helping them have better living conditions, or by giving them hope when they have hit a dead end in their life and just need some redirecting.
“I felt so comforted because many moms were teen moms and my biological mom was a teen mom until I was adopted into my wonderful family I live with now. It helped me understand many moms are going through what my mom went through, but also it helped me get more comfortable with infants and toddlers.
“That is why volunteering is my favorite act of kindness,” Hannah said.
A local student has given more than 490 volunteer hours to the community since 2009.
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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.
Twitter reacts to Time's Person of the Year
Time has announced its Person of the Year for 2013: Pope Francis. The announcement, seen live on the "Today" show Wednesday, generated immediate reaction on Twitter. Here is a sampling.
Cold impacts Edmond businesses, city services
Roger Seaton is operating manager of Edmond Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing, 3104 South Kelly Ave., owned by the Seaton family since 1970.
On Tuesday, for the first time in days, the temperature in the Edmond area rose above 32 degrees. At 2:53 p.m. Tuesday, the temperature was 41 degrees at the Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport, surpassing the predicted high of 34, according to the National Weather Service.
Seaton’s business offers plumbing services including water line work and repairs to faucets in the kitchen and bathroom. When it comes to plumbing calls, pipes that burst are a priority, Seaton said. It takes a while for pipes to freeze, he said, and residents began calling by Friday. Calls during the cold spell were both about frozen pipes and pipes that had burst.
If you have no water coming out of a faucet, shut off the water upstream and open cabinet doors to get warmer air circulating around pipes, Seaton said.
School back in session Wednesday
Parents are heaving a sign of relief while some students aren’t going to be quite as happy.
“All classes and activities will resume Wednesday in Edmond Public Schools,” said Susan Parks-Schlepp, director of public information and community involvement. “Slick spots remain and buses may be running a bit late but secondary roads are in much better shape after significant thawing.”
As reported earlier, students will not be making up the four snow days taken off from school this past week.
Kelly widening project progressing
Work progresses smoothly for the Kelly widening project, City Manager Larry Stevens said before the City Council this week. Road work began in July about 1,000 feet north of Covell and continues north to a point 350 feet south of Coffee Creek.
Duit Construction/TTK Construction is in charge of constructing a four-lane divided roadway with left turn lanes at all public streets along the project on Kelly going from Covell to Coffee Creek.
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