Mullin presentation

Pictured from left to right: CIEDA Executive Director Meggie Froman-Knight, Light of Hope Executive Director Nancy Phelps; Congressman Markwayne Mullin; and Light of Hope Founder Layla Freeman stand outside the Light of Hope building. Mullin presented each organization with certificates.

Three Claremore organizations were recognized on a federal level for the work they have been doing in the community.

Congressman Markwayne Mullin presented Certificates of Special Congressional Recognition to Light of Hope, Claremore Legend Field, and Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority.

In 2020, each organization won an award — nationally and internationally:

• LOH received the 2020 DEA National Community Drug Prevention Award from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

• Claremore Legion Field won the Field of the Year for Region 6 from the National High School Baseball Coaches Association.

• CIEDA won two international economic development awards from the International Economic Development Council Board — one for Private Public Partnership and the other for Talent Development and Retention.

LOH Founder Layla Freeman said this recognition was a complete surprise.

“We thought he was just coming to see the new facility,” Freeman said.

Freeman said Mullins' office reached out about using the newly expanded group room as a place to present a few awards.

“We did not expect to be receiving one,” she said. “We thought we’d be helping host the recipients.”

Freeman said it was exciting to receive the recognition.

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized for the things we are doing in the community,” she said.

Claremore High School baseball coach Jim Sherl said the coaches, players, parents, school, city and community puts in a lot of time, effort and resources into Legend Field.

“It's nice receiving a little bit of recognition for all the hard work,” Sherl said. “It's really nice for Congressman Mullin to take time from his hectic schedule to show his appreciation. We feel like our field is a great example of how the school, city, and community can come together and accomplish great things. Claremore has a lot of great things to offer, and we feel like Legend Field is just one of those things.”

CIEDA Executive Director Meggie Froman-Knight said this recognition was a way Mullins' office was able to honor each of these institutes on a federal level.

“It’s certainly exciting to see our work and the quality of work were putting in to better not only Claremore, but Rogers County, and to really see that celebrated,” Froman-Knight said.

Froman-Knight said not only were they able to share the successes of each institute, but also the struggles — for example, Light of Hope facing the opioid crisis and CIEDA facing issues within job recruitment.

“It was really neat to speak with him about things that are a great a success here, but also we’re facing these challenges as were working through these,” she said.

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