OPEA Chapter of ODMHSAS Participates in Lawton’s Annual Parade

Cold weather didn’t stop the Jim Taliaferro ODMHSAS OPEA Lawton Chapter from participating in the annual “Boulevard of Lights” parade recently. The chapter showed the city of Lawton how much they do and how much they care for their neighbors in the close-knit community.
“It was phenomenal,” said OPEA Membership Representative Brandon Watkins. “I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. Although it was freezing, I could feel the warmth coming from the people of the ODMHSAS Chapter as we boarded the float and proceeded through the parade. Throngs of people lined the streets as we all waved and threw candy to the kids,” said Watkins.
Jim Taliaferro Chapter President Hank Swearingen, Vice President Prinda Heaverin, Treasurer Nivian Rozumialski, and Secretary Patti Crum all planned and executed the participation of ODMHSAS and invited OPEA to join in the fun.

“It means something special to get involved with the community at large to show them we not only are isolated to caring for the mentally ill, but we as state employees enjoy and take pride in interacting with the people of Lawton,” said Swearingen. “It’s very important that all state employees become active in their community, and educate the community about state services being available to them and how easily they could be lost due to budget cuts,” Swearingen said.
OPEA unveiled its new membership recruitment DVD to Jim Taliaferro’s ODMHSAS state employees during a luncheon that same day. The Lawton Chapter recruits many new workers on a regular basis, including Director of Nursing Ellie Cruz.
“Today was very productive. I showed the new DVD during lunch for the first time and the workers gave me some very positive feedback about it,” said Watkins. “I was very pleased to see such a good turnout of people who were excited to hear the good news OPEA had for them today.”
For those state employees who are not members and would like to become part of a growing, positively dynamic association please contact Brandon Watkins at (405) 524-6764 ext. 208 and visit the website at www.opea.org for further information. Remember, OPEA is a member driven association which is working for you!

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