Veteran community center shares visions of success

Bree Mitchell, oeft, helps her daughterm, Kinsley, pet a horse during the 4th Annual Norman Summer Nights and Inaugural Scooter Poker Run, Saturday, June 15, 2019, at pin Envision Success, Inc. (Kyle Phillips / The Transcript)

Envision Success, Inc. has its engine revved and ready to make a difference, but it needs more public support before it can hit the gas.

Envision Success, Inc., a veteran community center located at 1151 E. Main St., held its fourth annual Norman Summer Nights community event Saturday evening.

“It’s our community event and the idea is to have fun, but also let people know that we’re here and a little bit about what we do,” Envision Success, Inc. Executive Director Gail Wilcox said.

Envision Success, Inc. also hoped to hold an inaugural scooter poker run at the event, but unfortunately did not have enough participants attend.

Wilcox was excited for the run, and hopes it will happen next year instead.

“A lot of the folks that we’re trying to reach out to may have done biker poker runs in the past, but are not able to now because they’re in mobility scooters,” Wilcox said. “As far as we can tell, nobody has done a mobility scooter poker run, at least in this state. This is something that nobody else seems to be offering.”

Public support may have been lacking, but many local organizations and veteran-focused non profits came out to show their support.

Flames to Hope equine assisted services, Disabled American Veterans, Norman Fire Department Station One, United States Submarine Veterans USS Oklahoma City base, multiple local vendors and three food trucks were at the event.

“They’re here helping veterans, and we’re here helping veterans, and I think it just really brings awareness to veterans and the struggles that they go through,” Flames to Hope Executive Director Kelly King said about her collaboration with Envision Success, Inc.

Flames to Hope’s therapy horses are not only good for a cuddle, but they are also beneficial additions to team building exercises.

“These are team building activities they did in the military, but we modified them to incorporate the horse,” King said. “There’s a comradery that you have in the military, and you come back to civilian life and it’s not there, so activities like this bring them back together and let them work together like they did in the military.”

Envision Success, Inc. strives to help veterans transition from their military life to civilian life by offering GED testing, family game nights, veteran hangout rooms and skill-teaching programs.

“We also connect people with resources,” Wilcox said. “We don’t have money that can support them … but my staff seems to make magic at times making connections.”

Envision Success, Inc. was founded by US veterans in 2015 and continues to be run by volunteer veterans and veteran family members.

“We’re working together to get veterans the assistance they need and also family members,” Wilcox said. “Sometimes a family member of a veteran is just stuck and can’t figure out what to do, and they need some assistance too.”

Wilcox said the center is a patchwork of items and services donated by local people and companies, including paint by Kelly-Moore, dining chairs and tables from Prairie Kitchen, reception area furniture from ScottRice and murals painted through a University of Oklahoma art therapy program.

“All of this has come together a little bit here and a little bit there,” Wilcox said. “We couldn’t do it without volunteers and donations that we’ve gotten from the community, but we do need more donations to be able to keep the doors open.”

For more information about Envision Success, Inc., call 405-701-2015 or visit envisionsuccessok.org.

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