MHA 6th Annual Benefit Fundraiser Dinner

At first glance, it may be hard to distinguish a connection between Oklahoma City and the West African nation of Liberia. However, the bond between the two could help change lives around the world.

My Heart’s Appeal (MHA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is hosting its 6th Annual Benefit Fundraiser Dinner Thursday, February 8, 2018, at Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City.

The event is designed to help raise funds to equip a campus in Liberia, West Africa, where teenagers and adults with intellectual disabilities can train, work and be productive.

Attendees of the benefit dinner will enjoy food, friendship, information, as well as a gallery walk, donation drawing and special entertainment.

Lovetie Major, M.Ed. founded My Heart’s Appeal in 1996 to create more opportunities for people with disabilities like her sister Titema, who has Down syndrome. Major hopes to raise funds to sponsor 40 students at the Connie Thrash McGoodwin Vocational Center in Liberia, West Africa, for the 2018-2019 academic year and sponsorships for 70 clients in its Bigma’s Care Place Respite Center.

2018 My Heart's Appeal 6th Annual Celebration Dinner poster.Who: My Heart’s Appeal

What: 6th Annual Benefit Fundraiser Dinner

Where: Church of the Servant, 14343 N. MacArthur, Oklahoma City

When: Thursday, February 8, 2018, 6:00-8:00pm

Tickets: $30/person or table of 8: $225 (RSVP by Monday, February 5, 2018). Register online

Contact: Lovetie Major, 405-603-2799, info@myheartsappeal.org

Dale Rogers Training Center has supported the annual event since 2012, and donated agency vehicles for MHA’s use in 2015.

Founded in 1996, the mission of My Heart’s Appeal is to facilitate the establishment of quality training and employment to teenage and adult persons with disabilities in West Africa. myheartsappeal.org

Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs more than 1,000 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.

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Reasons to go with custom framing

Purchasing a ready-made frame from a big box store can be tempting because of the price. When it comes to protecting treasured family photos or other special items, it pays to do a little research. The quality of materials can drastically affect the condition of your artwork over time. Custom frames cost a little more than a ready-made frame but we will break down reasons why it is worth the investment.

Protect Your Art

Framed Foo Fighters concert poster.Whether you have a poster from a concert, event or a cherished photo, these memorabilia should be treated properly. Anything that comes in contact with your artwork should be acid free and archival in quality or else you risk damage to your art over time. Custom framing with archival components is the best way to ensure your items last as long as possible in the best condition.

Make the Frame Work For Your Art

With custom framing, there are hundreds of options available providing many ways to create a special frame for your cherished item. If you are trying to use a ready-made frame when trying to frame artwork with non-standard dimensions, you will end up with an uneven mat or other make-it-work solutions. Custom framing ensures your final product will look tailor made and will perfectly fit your artwork.

Personalized Service

When just picking up a frame from the store, you are more or less on your own. It is not always a bad thing, but ideally, the frame you end up with should work to enhance what you are putting inside it.

If you do not quite have a vision for your project, there is nothing like the insight of a framing expert. Wyman Frame can work with you to choose a mat and frame that will perfectly compliment the artwork and look right at home wherever you display it.

We will always go the extra mile to ensure your favorite pictures, prints and other memorabilia are preserved properly, beautifully framed and received in a timely manner.

Carla Folks works at Wyman Frame, a division of Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC). Carla has been a Certified Picture Framer since 1989 and has framed for DRTC since 2013 where she trains/supervises people with disabilities on various projects.

DRTC is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs more than 1,100 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.

When partnership turns into family

2003 crew at Pelco
DRTC’s Mobile Workforce team at Pelco in 2003.

Anytime you’ve been in a relationship for 15 years, you’re bound to have endured many good times while creating cherished memories. The relationship between Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) and Pelco Products, Inc. is no different.

The two partnered with one another in 2002, expanding DRTC’s Mobile Workforce Program, which sends a team of up to eight individuals with disabilities and a DRTC staff member to various locations to complete projects.

Hard at work

2013: Gary displays a kit he made at Pelco
Gary displays a kit he made at Pelco.

DRTC’s crew has helped package more than 100 various kits for Pelco’s traffic and utility products. These kits, comprised of anywhere from 2-48 pieces, are used to assemble street lights, stop lights and other products made at the traffic and utility hardware manufacturer’s headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Upon assembly, completed components assembled by DRTC’s skilled workforce are distributed worldwide. Pelco sells products to all 50 states and international markets as well.

Through the 15-year partnership, DRTC’s Mobile Workforce has produced 3.5 million kits for Pelco.

“I don’t know of one kit that ever came back wrong,” said Phil Parduhn, Pelco Co-Owner.

Pelco President & CEO Steve Parduhn added, “There’s been enough kits that every man, woman, child in the state of Oklahoma could have one of these kits.”

15-year anniversary

DRTC presented Pelco with a signed "You Make a Difference" poster framed at Wyman Frame in celebration of 15 years working with the company.
Steve and Phil Parduhn, of Pelco, Inc., display the poster presented during the 15-year partnership celebration.

During a 15-year anniversary celebration, DRTC presented Pelco Products a poster framed at Wyman Frame, a division of DRTC, with the words “You Make a Difference,” signed by members of the Mobile Workforce team.

Pelco’s inclusion of individuals at DRTC is notable, from staff luncheons and activities, signage welcoming the crew, or online as the company demonstrates its commitment to community.

“It’s a joy working with you guys, having you here,” said Steve Parduhn. “Being a part of the Pelco family has been wonderful and we really appreciate it.”

The feeling is mutual from Mobile Workforce participants.

“We are family,” said Chris.

“We do a good job and like working the kits,” said Bonnie.

“We are good employees and we get the kits done,” added Sandra.

“Pelco’s commitment to providing real job opportunities for people with disabilities is something that should be modeled in more places,” said DRTC Executive Director Connie Thrash McGoodwin. “They (Pelco) have included our individuals, making them feel welcomed and part of the team.”

New opportunities

2016: Kathy installing reflective strips to Pelco's traffic light borders.
Kathy installing reflective strips to Pelco’s traffic light borders.

While DRTC’s Mobile Workforce completes the kitting jobs at Pelco’s large facility, others on Dale Rogers Training Center’s main campus complete subcontract work, providing more work opportunities for people with disabilities.

Individuals in DRTC’s Vocational Services Program also help kit items up to 19 pieces. Another subcontracting job with Pelco creates jobs for people with disabilities by having them install reflective tape along the edges of massive traffic light borders.

Bright future

As we celebrate the success we’ve had in the past, we continue to look toward the future.

Dale Rogers Training Center is excited for what’s to come with Pelco and the exciting opportunities for those served to develop skills and earn a paycheck.

DRTC, its clients, and their families are eternally grateful for the partnership, and relationships formed over the past 15 years.

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About DRTC: Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs more than 1,000 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.