By Tonya Little
The Mid-Del Tinker 100 Club held its 34th annual Awards Banquet on March 15 at the Reed Convention Center in Midwest City. The 100 club is a group of civic leaders who support emergency responders from Midwest City, Del City and Tinker Air Force Base. Since 1984 the Mid-Del Tinker 100 club has served those who serve us. The 100 Club financially rescues the dependents of firefighters and law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty by paying their debts and providing an education for their children.
“As most of you know each year we gather to honor the men and women who are our hometown heroes. These are people that put their lives on the line every day to ensure we are safe. I’ve been on the committee for the last 4-5 years and I really appreciate what our early responders do,” said Club President Raju Kaul during the event introduction.
Following the introduction there was a presentation of colors by the Midwest City Fire Honor Guard, as well as an invocation by the Tinker AFB Chaplain Mike Tukey. A steak dinner was served while harpist Jill Justice played music. After dinner the regular business meeting for the 100 Club ensued followed by the installation of the Board and Officers by State Representative Roger Ford.
The featured speaker for the evening was Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater.
“Mid-Del Tinker 100 is a special group because our first responders, they really don’t go out there every day to be recognized. That’s not why you do what you do, but it sure is nice occasionally, when you get down in the dumps and feel like no one loves you anymore to come to a banquet like this and come get loved on and recognized and have someone pat you on the back and just say thank you,” said Prater.
Prater talked about his many years in service and the tough lessons he learned along the way, in hopes of helping those going through the same things in the line of duty that he did. He urged those in the high stress jobs to make sure they took care of themselves as well, and to reach out for help when they need it. Following Prater’s speech the awards were presented by Stan Greil, who is a member of the directors of the Mid-Del 100 Club, and who has also been a past president of the club.
“All of the awards were vetted by an awards committee, and all the nominations were anonymous and they were rated independently. Committee members didn’t meet all together as a group until all the ratings had been made and final, and they agreed it was a tough process,” said Greil.
Greil explained that while they felt like all of the Mid-Del first responders do an excellent job, the awards are given based on those that go above and beyond the call of duty, those that put in extra effort to make sure that their job is done to the very best of its ability, which sometimes even means helping when they are off of the clock.
The 2018 scholarship award went to Midwest City High School Senior Caitlyn Williams, which included $500 towards Rose State College. The Emergency Service of the Year award went to Candace Fox who is an EMS at Alliance Midwest. The Firefighter of the Year award went to Adam Shelley of the Del City Fire Department. The Police Officer of the Year went to Senior Airman Emily Chanthavong of Tinker Air Force Base. The Military Member of the Year went to Master of Arms First Class Eric Pierce of the US Navy.
The Hall of Fame award was bittersweet as it was awarded to Assistant Chief Reese Morrison of the Midwest City Fire Department, who passed away suddenly last month. Morrison’s award was met with a standing ovation from the crowd. The final award of the evening was a Special Recognition Award which was given to Phil Taylor, the retired Del City Police Chief.
You can find out more information about the Mid-Del Tinker 100 Club and ways that you can get involved by going to their website at www.mdt-club.squarespace.com.