When Luther Superintendent Barry Gunn met me at the Middle School Cafeteria on Monday to check out the space for a Luther Register Community Meeting that evening, we wondered if five people would come? Maybe ten?
When the doors opened in the space that feeds about 150 fifth-eighth graders every day, almost 60 community members walked through the doors. The cafeteria has been a science lab, superintendent’s office and served the district in various ways since the 1960s. A tight space for 60 adults or 150 students, the students have lunch in two shifts during the school day, and students often will take lunch outside, when weather permits.
Restaurant and shop owners came from Brew 66, Josephine’s Cafe, Sonic Drive-In, The Chicken Shack and 116 Farmstead Market & Table. Main Street retailers from Urban 66, Rustic Farm, Beth’s Baubles and Bits and Shorty’s Prideland Activity Center also participated. Others included representatives from Luther Town Hall, the Luther School Board, OG&E, Choctaw Area Chamber of Commerce, 4 Our Community, Luther Fire Department, Luther Pecan Festival Committee, artists like Triceraware and Felicia’s Country Corner, and other hometown Luther fans.
The evening featured discussion about creating more events in the Town for residents to enjoy and to draw visitors to our growing community. The Luther Pecan Festival showed that with an estimated attendance of 10,000 visitors, more events will help local businesses. In fact the day after the meeting, this column appeared about Luther in the Journal Record. Thanks Oklahoma Joe!
A suggestion was made to bring back a homecoming parade during football season. High School Principal Shawn Meek echoed the desire and there was an enthusiastic crowd consensus to “do it.”
Principal Meek also told the crowd that his students are more than willing to help the community with various projects. He was loaded up with a few needs before the evening was finished.
There was also exciting discussion about celebrating BancFirst when it opens later this Spring, perhaps with an event to feature a 5K run to benefit the volunteer fire department. Any volunteers to help? Luther Track Coach Stan Higdon along with Dr. Rosemarie Strong of the Luther Parks Commission have been proponents of having an activity like this.
Mayor Jenni White promoted Josephine’s Farmers Market. Bigger and better, with a new location on Ash at Main Street, producers are sought for the market that will open in mid-April.
Volunteers were requested to help with the organization and planning of the Luther Pecan Festival on November 16, 2019.
There was also a plug to support The Luther Register that provides journalism to our community. Advertising, sponsorships and donations are needed to continue the work. Note, have you noticed our new advertising options and advertisers? Our rates provide you with an affordable investment to reach your audience and support community journalism. Thank you.
Supt. Gunn welcomed the group and talked about LPS and its students. He touted small class sizes, dedicated faculty and staff, and an all-in effort to educate a group of almost 850 students that he cares about. There was discussion about the recent bond issue and its failure. He said there are plans to present another bond proposal to voters and the earliest for that will be in August, but he said the projects are not yet determined and input is invited.
The evening ended with a promise to continue meeting. We held this meeting at the middle school to give a chance for the community to see some of the space issues. The middle school cafeteria project that would have included a saferoom was on the failed bond.
We are getting our dates lined out and hope to meet again in February. Who wants to host?