I know the title of this post is a cliché, but it succinctly explains how I feel about last week’s Wall of Fame Celebration. We had a team of dedicated volunteers, including our board members, who worked the event before and after to ensure its success. Our service at the Skirvin that day and evening really couldn’t have been better, as they were responsive to last minute requests and changes. Their house AV team was generous and creative with solutions in a time when they could have really taken advantage of us. They didn’t have to do that, but they all exceeded my expectations of customer service, which are high due to my having hosted events at the Skirvin in the past. I haven’t even mentioned the food! It was absolutely delicious.
We really lucked out with our stage talent this year, having gotten the famous Kevin Ogle to emcee our event. He livened up the crowd with a few jokes, and kept our program on track. Thanks to Mr. Swimmer’s friendship, we even had former governor Frank Keating join us. He made a heartwarming speech about Ross further attesting to why this man is in our Wall of Fame.
Let me take a moment here to gush about the musical talent in this district. You’ve read here in the past how my own musical proclivities got a start in this district thanks to great music teachers like Mrs. Reynolds, Mrs. Schantz, and Mr. Wong, but the event’s musicians prove that the tradition continues. We had the Putnam City North High School Saxophone Choir join us for both cocktail hour and dinner music. What initially sounds like it might be a bunch of squawking is in fact a mellow jazzy vibe perfect for our type of event. I was so impressed with the music, and grateful to Susan Clothier for bringing her group to be with us. We also hosted the Cherokee Nation Youth Choir who performed a few special selections in honor of Mr. Swimmer’s induction. They set a spiritual tone for that portion of the event, and I am so glad they came all the way from Tahlequah to be with us!
But I really want to thank all the people who chose to come. I know it may not sound like much, but despite the rainy weather, despite the drive, people came out to celebrate Mr. Swimmer and Putnam City Schools. It is always the people that make the event fun. The music can set the atmosphere, the decorations can help- and our linens and plants from Connected Events were beautiful, but without people actually showing up, we have no party!
We won’t know for a few more days exactly how much this event raised for the Foundation’s programs, but preliminary estimates indicate we exceeded our net from 2016. This means we can offer more to Early Birds and other programs we support. We could not do that without the generous support of our many donors and sponsors. Please take some time to review those companies on our website. Thank you so much to all who came, who helped, and who donated to this event. We look forward to next year with high hopes of helping more Putnam City children.