by Patrick B. McGuigan
Oklahoma City – The Santa Fe Family Life Center’s 2019 John F. Kennedy Community Service Awards gala will be held September 17. Winners of the 2019 recognition from the group include Nick Collison, Jenny Love Meyer, and former Governor Frank Keating and his wife, Cathy.
Josef McGuigan, president of the Santa Fe Family Life Center, the award sponsor, announced the honorees last month. The historic Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City is the venue. A VIP reception begins at 6 p.m., Cocktails at 6:30 p.m. and the gala kickoff at 7 p.m.
In a posting about their work, SFFLC leaders observed, “The John F. Kennedy Community Service Award is presented by the SFFLC to recognize Oklahomans whose philanthropy has served Oklahoma in lasting and significant ways. John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was a proud Knight of Columbus, and his legacy of service to the nation as a hallmark of good citizenship has continued to this day.
“Proceeds from the award dinner benefit the charitable programs offered at the Santa Fe Family Life Center. As the largest charitably based multi-sport facility in Oklahoma City, the SFFLC provides a family friendly atmosphere to improve health and well-being while giving back to the community. Conveniently located along Broadway Extension in Oklahoma City, the SFFLC offers a variety of sports from basketball to pickleball, health and wellness programs for members, charitable programs, and sports leagues.”
In a letter to Nick Collison – the beloved former player for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the National Basketball Association (NBA), McGuigan explained the group’s reason for extending honors:
“Your powerful work ethic, consistent professionalism, and dedication to your family provide a wonderful role model for kids and make you a deserving recipient of the JFK Community Service Award. Your dedication to the Homeland Shopping Spree event, and your adoption of the Oklahoma City community as your own exemplify your commitment to community service. Your standard for excellence, commitment, and authenticity embody the characteristics that Oklahomans hold dear.”
In his letter to Jenny Love Meyer, McGuigan said, “Your leadership with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Board of Trustees and the Oklahoma City Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Directors has improved the lives of countless children in Oklahoma and across the United States.
“Your dedication to the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Oklahoma City Community Foundation Board of Trustees exemplifies your deep commitment to our Oklahoma City community. Your work raising funds for numerous charities has impacted the lives of thousands here in Oklahoma.”
McGuigan wrote to the Frank and Cathy Keating, whom he has known since his childhood:
“Mrs. Keating your dedicated leadership as a member of so many board of directors including Oklahoma City Memorial Museum, Habitat for Humanity, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City Family Justice Center; as well as your efforts to unite Oklahoma City after the Murrah Building Bombing by organizing the International Prayer Service makes you a deserving recipient of the JFK Community Service Award.
“Governor, your service to the state of Oklahoma, your leadership in bringing about education reform, tax relief, economic development, public safety, and welfare reform; and your willingness to raise funds for so many good causes around Oklahoma makes you a deserving recipient of the JFK Community Service Award. Frank and Cathy, your dedicated service to our Catholic Church make us proud to recognize you as one of this year’s award winners.”
Among others, past JFK honorees include Tricia Everest, Governor Brad Henry and his wife Kim, former Mayor Mick Cornett, Gov. George Nigh and his wife Donna, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Barry Switzer, Susan and Mike Turpen, and (posthumously) Wayman Tisdale and Jack Mildren.
A wide range of opportunities to support SFFLC exist for the event, including the levels of “Oval Office” ($30,000) and Presidential ($10,000) sponsors. Other levels include Camelot ($5,000), New Frontier ($3,000) and Friend of the Honoree ($1,000).
For information about the dinner, visit www.JFKAward.com
McGuigan is a past Grand Knight of Knights of Columbus Oklahoma Council No. 1038, the Catholic fraternal organization which began the JFK dinner in 2007. He told The City Sentinel that past JFK honorees Tricia Everest and Mike Turpen will M.C. this year’s event.
Address of the Santa Fe Family Life Center: 6300 N. Santa Fe Avenue, Oklahoma City, 73118. Website: www.sfflc.com. Telephone is 405-840-1817.
James Timberlake is executive director of SFFLC.
Disclosure Note: Pat McGuigan, editor and publisher of The City Sentinel newspaper, formerly served on the Columbus Corporation Board of Directors, a non-profit faith-based organization which guides the work of the Santa Fe Family Life Center. He served as treasurer and then vice president of the board during most of the tenure of David Walters as board president. Pat is the father of Josef McGuigan, the current president of the Santa Fe Board.