Sun, 01/26/2014 - 2:54am Staff
Drewry-Bell, Cummins lead list of award recipients
Two key players in local community initiatives were lauded for their work Thursday as a highlight of the Lawton Enhancement Trust Authority's annual awards banquet.
Lori Cummins won the Champion Volunteer Award and Janice Drewry-Bell received the Visionary Leadership Award. The women were the top winners in an evening honoring those who work to enhance the Lawton-Fort Sill community, whether it be through aesthetic improvements or working with residents. The awards made to Cummins and Drewry-Bell were based on their volunteer efforts in the community, on behalf of youth, health and civic initiatives.
Jay Burk, the Ward 4 councilman who is president of LETA/Lawton Beautiful, told those who attended the honor banquet that community enhancement means more than decorating medians (although he and other LETA members noted that's exactly what they will continue to do). It also means rehabilitating buildings, cleaning up trash and stepping up to make your voice heard, something he said the evening's honorees and nominees have done.
"It's about more than planting a plant," he said.
He cited several examples of that forward movement, starting with the building that hosted Thursday's event, The historic Lawton High, now Lawton City Hall, has been the host site for the awards ceremony since it began.
"This old Lawton High School is what we are all about," Burk said, noting the renovation illustrates a determination to rebuild Lawton's history, starting with its downtown. "We need to have a heartbeat again."
The downtown revitalization something LETA members will pursue via a five-year plan that will complement upgrades already underway is part of an overall community enhancement spearheaded by numerous community members, Burk and his team said. They cited Cummins and Drewry-Bell, honored with awards that highlight their overall commitment to the community.
Cummins, lauded for numerous volunteer efforts, was spotlighted for her longtime work on Spirit of Survival, a run/walk dedicated to victims of cancer and their families. Cummins said she was accepting the award on behalf of all volunteers who participate in the SOS.