Note from an MCM Staffer: Funds for The Will Rogers Park Project are still needed! Plans and fundraising efforts are underway for a new wonderful playground, garden beautification, and a place to honor our veterans. If you are interested in supporting this community project, contact Crystal Campbell at 918.341.4482 or firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/TheWillRogersParkProject. If you are curious as to why Crystal Campbell is so passionate about this cause, read this post, originally published on moreClaremore on June 26, 2013:
On rare occasions, my husband and I escape our four young children and make our way to the movies. Tonight we slipped away into the world of Superman. I watched him as he stood there all muscle busting and cape flowing and I couldn’t help but be kind of envious. I mean it’s a cape! Who doesn’t want to wear a rad red cape! Not to mention being able to travel at the speed of sound and escape traffic!
[quote] At first I was excited to go and then I wondered WHY doesn’t Claremore have a huge playground for people to visit? Why are we bussing kids away from Claremore for a big park? [/quote]
When we are kids, we pretend to be superheroes and save the day with lightning fast speed and strength to stop a train but somewhere in adulthood we just kind of stop …well, believing in ourselves. I will be the first to admit that the day to day trying-to-keep-up-with-the-necessities-of-life is overwhelming enough but then you look around and you think, There is so much more to do. I see a need but now what? I am no Wonder Woman! Or can I be??
In the spring of 2012, my daughter’s pre-K class took a field trip to a park in Owasso. At first I was excited to go and then I wondered, WHY doesn’t Claremore have a huge playground for people to visit? Why are we bussing kids away from Claremore for a big park? How awesome would it be to only drive a few minutes to get to a place for kids to play and friends and family to spend time together? Think of all of the visitors that would pour money into our little town if Claremore had a big, beautiful, fun park. The Will Rogers Park Project idea was born and I knew that I was going to need some super powers and some super friends to get it accomplished.
I realized that it was going to be a challenge. I wasn’t born and raised in Claremore and not very many people really know me here. Strike one. I am a mom of four busy kids, an author pushing newly published books, and a busy gopher to a workaholic husband. Strike two. Clearly, I was already on shaky, extremely busy ground but, having been raised by parents who pushed through the incredibly terrible odds of owning a perishing family farm in the early 80’s and at the same time my dad nearly losing his life, I learned to be tough. So with that I pitched the Will Rogers Park Project to the city council. And they bought it. Soon the Rogers County Association of Master Gardeners was on board along with the Health Department, Rogers County Coalition, Healthy Community Partnership, and Volunteers for Youth. I thought, This could work!
When I was younger I thought that if it was a great idea it would happen overnight. Now that I am closing in on my 40’s I know that sometimes great ideas aren’t easily achieved.
At the end of June 2013 and nearly 9 months’ worth of work on the project, I see even more work BUT I also see an even greater need for the park and an even BIGGER benefit for the entire Claremore area. (We have some fabulous communities all around in Rogers County.) My kids are drawing pictures thanking me for working on a big playground and if that can’t fuel me to try to find my inner superhero I don’t know what will. Clearly it means something to them, too. I’ve gotten some encouraging support from the city council and from various people in town and when you are taking on what seems to be the impossible at times that support means so very much.
Back to my superheroes. I will admit that I collect all things Wonder Woman. It started back in college when I wore my signature red lipstick and with my blue-green eyes and black hair, it became a joke that just stuck.These days, I use my collection to remind me that “Today, I am going to be Wonder Woman. I am not going to be afraid of challenges or obstacles. I am going to be that strong woman with the lasso of truth. I am going to live my purpose on purpose.”
Some days Wonder Woman shows up and some days she gets lost in the laundry room. Nevertheless, I can’t forget my commitment. So here I am, a wannabe Wonder Woman momma trying to make an already great community even better. However, even the mightiest of superheroes (especially pretend superheroes) need help and I need yours. We need people to take flyers and to be cheerleaders around town. We need creative people to make park progress videos, people to help with fundraising ideas and we need people to work in the park at times. Most of all we need financial support to make it happen.
This town that we live in has done some incredible things and has produced some incredible people. But in the last seven years that I have lived here, I have seen the cynicism grow like a disease. That is where the Will Rogers Park Project becomes a shot in the arm to the ugliness of “it will never happen in this town because nothing ever changes in Claremore”. I can’t bring a new restaurant to town or change the train tracks or put up the best shopping center this side of the Verdigris River…but I can help our town build an incredible park. A park that will be a beacon every time someone passes through our city; a place where kids can socialize instead of camping out in front of a TV and family pictures can be taken around a beautifully designed landscape. While the city fully supports this project, this project is a people-driven project. That means if it flops, it isn’t the city’s fault. It is ours. Together we CAN make this happen. We can build a park that will bring people in to support businesses, will grow our local economy and bring us closer together as a community.
So what I am asking of my fellow Rogers County citizens? I am asking to believe. Find your red flowy cape and put it on. Let’s be superheroes again. Let’s join together, raise the money, and build on this opportunity. What do you say? Are you ready for more for Claremore?
For information contact Crystal Wood Campbell 918-381-4482 or email email@example.com
Since I have been asked this question…”Who are you?” – Crystal Wood Campbell
I was born in raised in Checotah, Oklahoma, on a large family farm/ranch and highly influenced by grandparents who were dedicated teachers and dairy farmers. My parents, John and Glenda Wood, taught to shake a hand firmly and work hard no matter how tired you feel. Education was of understood importance and I graduated with honors from both high school and Oklahoma State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. I realized that I make my own dreams happen and this last year I accomplished one by becoming the published author of The Official Wife and two children’s books; Little Paw and The Moon and Grandpa’s Pocket. I fully believe in not complaining but getting involved and therefore started the Will Rogers Park Project. I have been a homeroom mom at Westside Elementary for some of the best teachers on the planet and I believe that nurturing a community is vital part of living. Loneliness is detrimental to the overall well-being of being human. Lastly, I don’t like to quit, I don’t believe in being lazy and integrity is a precious commodity to own. I come from a long line of individuals who felt that a good name was far more important that the size of your bank account. I have made monumental mistakes but I have tried to learn from them and I admit when I am wrong. My yes is a yes and my no is a no and you never want your momma to find out that you lied –so you better not because somehow she always finds out. And that is me, Crystal Wood Campbell.