POSTED ON MARCH 16, 2011:
Running for a Cause. Join the Race Against Racism with Tulsa YWCA at the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park and ONEOK Field, 201 N. Elgin Ave. The race was organized to raise awareness of YWCA's mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The race kicks off on April 30 with a 5K at 9am and a 1 Mile Justice Walk at 9:30am. Visit ywcatulsa.org for more information.
With Child. While advances in medical care have improved chances for survival of babies born in Oklahoma, unhealthy outcomes related to pregnancy and childbirth, including low birth weight, preterm birth and maternal death have not improved over the last 20 years. Only nine states in the nation have higher infant mortality rates than Oklahoma.
Although early prenatal care may identify and treat some health conditions, the fetus may have been exposed to risk factors before prenatal care began. Health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, alcohol, and tobacco use all may complicate pregnancy and harm an unborn baby.
The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) study on preconception health used data collected from 2005 to 2008. The study found that preconception care is not routinely provided to all women. In addition the study found that: Only 12 percent of Oklahoma women received advice or counseling to prepare for becoming pregnant and maternal age and race were significant contributors to the likelihood of receipt of preconception care in Oklahoma. Preconception care visits were associated with reduced smoking during pregnancy, increased regular multivitamin use before pregnancy and receiving first trimester prenatal care.
Swimming Ahead. Tulsa Parks will be opening five pools this summer, the same number and the same pools as in 2010. Those pools are located at McClure, Reed, Lacy, Whiteside and Berry parks.
"While budget dollars haven't changed much since a year ago, we are making plans to make sure pools get open," said Lucy Dolman, Tulsa Parks Director.
Since 2010, three water playgrounds have been built at Maxwell, Chamberlain and Owen. A fourth will be constructed at Whiteside. Funding for water playgrounds comes from 2001 and 2006 Sales Tax and Vision 2025 funding.
Channeling Earnhardt, Jr. The American All Track Racing Series (AATRS) will be launched as the first ever racing series created specifically for the everyday driver with little to no track experience who will be able to race street legal cars on drag strips
AATRS was created to provide drag racing, stock car and road racing to all driving enthusiasts. Designed specifically for motor sports fans, AATRS takes race aficionados out of the grandstand bleachers and puts them behind the wheel and on the track.
The series will offer a variety of race options include drag, road, stock, drift and all-track. The races in 2011 will be strictly drag racing, with the other four series expected to launch in 2012. The program is rapidly growing as membership is open to all who meet the proper requirements such as a having a state legal car, vehicle registration, insurance, valid driver's license, D.O.T. tires and a Snell helmet.
The series kick-off events will be May 20-22 at Tulsa Raceway Park, 3101 N. Garnett Rd. From there, AATRs will travel to some of the most renowned racing tracks in the country.
For more information about the American All Track Racing Series including membership registration, schedule of events and series details, visit aatrs.com.
Full Salute. Tulsa Country will honor its military community on May 21 at Haikey Creek Park, 11327 S. Garnett Ave., from 10am-6pm.
Since 1950, the third Thursday in May has been reserved for Armed Forces Day. This day allows people to show their support for servicemen and women and their families of all the branches of the military.
The event includes live music, arts & crafts, vendors, kids zone, concessions, open car show and door prizes. Presentations and recognitions are planned throughout the day. All active-duty military, National Guard Reserves and veterans and their families are invited to attend.
For more information, call the Tulsa County Parks Department at 918-596-5977.
Written Works. Heller Theatre is now accepting submissions for the second annual Heller Shorts -- Keep It Brief! short play festival, to be held August 18-21. The theme for the 2011 festival is "Keep it Brief."
Playwrights should be 18 or older and live in the Tulsa area. Playwrights are asked to submit plays that require minimal sets, props and lighting. Plays should be able to be performed in 15 minutes or less. Scripts must include a briefcase in the story.
Recognition Due. Each year, the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits recognizes excellence in the state's nonprofit sector. They honor those whose contributions across nine categories of service demonstrate the incredible impact nonprofits have on Oklahoma and its people. The 2011 Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence Awards are on April 2 at the Southern Hills Country Club, 2636 E. 61st St., from 6-9pm. Visit oklahomacenterfornonprofits.org for more information.
Tulsa's Rose. Bob Wills Take Me Back to Tulsa commemorative concert, reception and surprise induction by the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame will take place at Cain's Ballroom, 423 N. Main St., on April 2.
The concert is designed to celebrate the glory days of Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys. The evening will include a private reception with Carolyn Wills, daughter of the music legend; a Bob Wills tribute concert featuring Barry Epperley and members of The Signature Symphony orchestra; Jason Roberts of Asleep at the Wheel, dancing and some unexpected surprises.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Signature Symphony's Higher Scale music outreach program to bring stringed music instruction to Tulsa's public schools.
Call 918-596-7777 or visit signaturesymphony.org for more information.
Full Steam Ahead. With gasoline prices well beyond $3 a gallon in the Tulsa area, motorists should have plenty to talk about as INCOG transportation staffers meet with residents in South and Midtown Tulsa this week.
The cost of a Tulsa Transit pass is $40 a month compared with the average $800 a month people spend on transportation in the Tulsa area. That estimate includes vehicle payments, maintenance, insurance and fuel, according to Housing & Transportation Affordability Index.
In an effort to hear from residents about the future of transportation in the Tulsa region, INCOG staffers will be traveling in the Transit Lab throughout South and Midtown Tulsa.
Information shared by the public will be used to develop the first-ever transit system plan for the Tulsa region. Participants 18 and older have a chance to win an iPad.
Joe Momma's Pizza, 112 S. Elgin Ave., hosted "Transportation Trivia Night" on March 16. March Madness fans can share their thoughts on the Tulsa regional transit system plan 1pm to 5pm. March 18. The Transit Lab will be open at the Denver Ave. Station across from the BOK Center.
Also during the week, the Transit Lab will make stops throughout the city. The complete schedule is available at fastforwardplan.org or call 918-269-7560 for more information.
Gold Star. Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard and district staff personally delivered the news to the finalists for 2011 Tulsa Public Schools' Teach of the Year honorees.
The finalists include Clara Southerland of Remington Elementary; Stefani Bartholomew of Eliot Elementary; Dessa Weber of Kendall-Whittier Elementary; Major Michael Maguffee of Hale High School and Steve Tomlin of Grissom Elementary.
The winner will be announced at the TPS Employee Appreciation Banquet to be held later this spring.
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