Notebook: August 2015
Topics of interest to Tulsans
At its May 1 gala, Monte Cassino auctioned an opportunity to skydive with Sister Julia Marie Roy. In an ironic twist, the $11,000 winning bidders appointed the school’s director, Matthew Vereecke (right). He, too, will make the leap of faith on Aug. 21.
Sister Julia Marie Roy is used to “The Flying Nun” jokes. That’s because the director of mission integration for Monte Cassino School will soon jump from a plane to make good on a promise.
Earlier this year, Roy agreed to make her skydiving debut if the Monte Cassino community raised $60,000 for endowed scholarships to help families of students who might otherwise be unable to attend the school.
The funds were raised, so on Aug. 21 Roy, 54, will jump tandem with an instructor from Skydive Tulsa. Buses will take Monte Cassino students and families to the landing site, where a celebration will include barbecue, sno cones and games.
Although she has “never done anything this crazy before,” Roy says she doesn’t fear her impending stunt.
“I taught junior high for 11 years,” she says. “It can’t be that difficult.”
When The Tristesse Grief Center solicited work from local artists for its April fundraiser, Artscape, it got more than it bargained for.
“Local art donations keep pouring in” after the event, said Executive Director Susan Bramsch in a press release.
The unexpected response prompted staff to create “Art for Heart’s Sake,” a pop-up art gallery at the grief center, 4646 S. Harvard Ave. The gallery, featuring local artists, will remain open all summer from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Mondays.
All art is for sale, and proceeds benefit Healing Hearts Camp, Oklahoma’s first overnight grief camp for kids and teens.
“Every artist wants to help, so we couldn’t think of a more appropriate action than to create an art gallery to showcase these wonderful expressions of love and hope,” Bramsch said.
If you or an artist you know would like to participate in the gallery, contact Carolyn Yoder at 918-587-1200 or email@example.com.
Tulsa natives’ musical snags four Tony Awards
In June, the musical “An American in Paris” received four 2015 Tony Awards for best choreography, orchestrations, lighting and scenic design.
Produced by Tulsa natives Anne O’Shea and Brian Quattrini of Minerva Productions, it received 12 nominations, including one for “Best Musical.” The show is “a romantic story of a young American soldier and a gorgeous French girl,” according to a press release.
Founded in 1996 as a theatrical production company in North Carolina, Minerva Productions sought to give women more opportunities in theater, according to the release. In 2009 it expanded to include film and immediately achieved success with the Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated film, “The Kids Are All Right,” starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore.
Something to brag about
Oklahoma’s public education system might need improvement, but the state is widely lauded as a leader in early childhood education. The following statistics are from the 2015 Education Guide published by the Tulsa Regional Chamber.
- Tulsa has 3 Educare sites — more than any other city in the nation. Educare provides children under age 5 and their families with full-day, year-round early childhood education, family support services and ongoing medical care.
- 87% of Oklahoma 4-year-olds are enrolled in an early childhood education program.
- The National Institute for Early Childhood Research lists Oklahoma as a model for pre-K programs.
- CAP Tulsa is recognized by the National Office of Head Start as one of only 10 centers of excellence nationwide.
- CAP provides low-income families with early childhood education and comprehensive enrichment programs to help break the cycle of poverty.