Thursday, July 21, 2005


More than 150 students, staff and faculty from the University of Science and Arts joined hundreds of volunteers citywide in building Kids’ Place at Centennial Park during the week of June 6-11. Citywide, more than $150,000 was raised in private donations to erect the park, designed by a committee of local children and volunteers.


“This achievement is a tribute to the creative and entrepreneurial spirit in Chickasha,” said USAO President John Feaver. “The USAO Staff Association led the way by launching its own initiative aimed and getting people into the community spirit. With more than 25 outreach programs, USAO is a proud participant in everything that’s good for Chickasha. This park will help to revitalize midtown and give children north of Grand Avenue a marvelous outlet for creative energy.”


More than 100 students and 50 staff and faculty members joined many hundreds of other local volunteers in building the project. Work began on Monday morning and continued from dawn to dusk each day until Saturday, when construction barriers were removed and children were allowed to climb aboard, just before dark on the last day.


“Members of the campus community are involved in the Chickasha community in a thousand ways through civic, church and service projects,” said Terry Winn, vice president for administrative affairs. “But for this project, the faculty, staff and students wanted to do something extra special. They formed ‘Team USAO’ and wore matching shirts to show their pride. Nobody had to beg them to join the Kids’ Place undertaking: volunteers leaped at the opportunity.


“In fact, we believe this project is so worthy that the college provided free annual leave time for volunteers,” Winn said. “The college also provided gold t-shirts clearly marked ‘Team USAO: Community Service Squad.’ It was a terrific sight all week to visit the construction site and see so many gold-shirted volunteers from the campus during most shifts.”


Pictures of USAO Team members in action are posted in a photo gallery at www.usao.edu/usao-news.