By RICK WEST
I’ve written before about the great people in LeFlore County, about how we band together and lift our community up time and time again. On Saturday, I had the privilege of attending Gordon’s Youth Foundation’s annual scholarship dinner and fundraiser, where I watched two students receive scholarship money to attend college.
Roy Gordon founded his Youth Foundation in 2007, and if you’ve ever met Roy, it’s no surprise that he is passionate about young people and education. Roy is the cream of the crop here in LeFlore County. He served our country bravely for 20 years as a Sgt. First Class in the U.S. Army, both on active and reserve duty. He also worked faithfully for Whirlpool for 37 years.
You just don’t see that kind of commitment all that often anymore. Roy has taken his unmatched commitment and he’s gone further – he’s financially committing to these economically disadvantaged kids that may not be able to attend scholarship without financial aid. And with the community’s support, he’s helped many kids achieve their goals of obtaining college degrees.
Former Oklahoma Sooner running back Marcus Dupree spoke at the event, encouraging students and reminding them that they can attain their goals if they just stick with them. The scholarship dinner gave us all an opportunity to remember that the future really does lie in the hands of our youth. And if that evening was any glimpse of what the future of LeFlore County will be, we have bright days ahead of us.
This upcoming weekend will reinforce those same feelings, I’m sure. The sixth Dr. John Montgomery Scholarship Banquet in Poteau is Saturday, and I am certain the community will show up in force again. LeFlore County lost a legend when Montgomery died in 2014, but he’s left his mark in a big way.
Seven high school students from the area will receive scholarships at this weekend’s event, and we have Dr. Montgomery to thank for that. During his life, he helped organize the local NAACP chapter and acted as a mentor for young veterinarians in our community. He invested in LeFlore County throughout his life, and he continues to do so after his death.
Dr. Montgomery and Mr. Gordon should serve as role models for all of us. Their honorable actions have bettered our community in a tangible way. They saw the value of our young people, and they took steps to invest in those kids so they could have a promising future. What an honor it is for LeFlore County to be the home of these two great men.
As always, I’m around if you need me. You can call the office at 405-557-7413 or email me at [email protected]. Thank you, and God bless you and our children.
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