How did COVID impact two iconic benefit breakfasts?

by Charles Gerian

Two annual events were recently conducted to jumpstart Blackwell Public Schools’ 2020 – 2021 school year, and to support local educators and families.

The Blackwell Area Chamber of Commerce and Stillwater Medical Center – Blackwell hosted their annual Teachers Appreciation Breakfast at the end of August. For the first time, the event took place in the Blackwell High School Auditorium.

“It went really well,” Chamber of Commerce Coordinator Joyce Courtney said. “It was a different format than what we were used to, but I think it was a huge success. The teachers were all very appreciative, and we of course want to thank everyone that donated.”

In total, more than 50 organizations supplied gift cards, coupons, and vouchers to the event. These organizations include: the All About You Salon, Ambition Nutrition, BancFirst, Big Time BBQ, Blackwell Fitness, Blackwell Golf Course, Brown's Tag Agency, Casey's, Crazy Rooster, Crowned Hair Salon, Dairy Queen, Earnhardt's, Elegant Nail, Gose Jewelers, IQ Car Wash, Kay Electric, Kruse Pools, Los Potros, The Lunch Box, RCB Bank, Quiddy's, Roberts & Sons Funeral Home, Southside Spirits, Sonic, Splash N Dash Car Wash, Starr Lumber, Stride Bank, Tucker Plumbing, Resu-Wreck-Tion, BOSTD, Hutton Pharmacy, Kelle Oil, and Red Dirt Botanicals. Several other organizations and community members also donated to the event.

Volunteers with the Blackwell Area United Way, which is being rebranded as Blackwell United Outreach, hosted their annual Kick-Off Breakfast Friday.

Stacie Grossardt, the organization’s director, said the coronavirus pandemic didn't slow the breakfast down.

“The community turned out,” Grossardt said. “It went great. The food was good, our delivery drivers were outstanding. I can't say enough of how proud I was to see Blackwell supporting Blackwell. This money we make from the breakfast goes right back into our community, and it stays local.”

Grossardt said she and other event organizers were worried that the pandemic would cause a decrease in orders, but she said she was happy to be proven wrong.

The Blackwell High School Marching Band performed at the breakfast, which took place at the corner of Main St. and Blackwell Ave. Cheerleaders from BHS performed as well.

“Everyone loves to hear the band and the cheerleaders,” Grossardt said. “It was just awesome to see.”