Tulsa philanthropist among seven inductees into Oklahoma Hall of Fame
BY SARA PLUMMER World Staff Writer
Friday, November 16, 2012
11/16/12 at 7:36 AM
A director of the Children's Hospital Foundation at St. Francis was one of seven people honored Thursday night at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame's induction ceremony in Tulsa.
Suzanne Warren founded the Painted Pony Ball, one of the largest fundraisers in Tulsa, to benefit the Children's Hospital at St. Francis, just one of her many philanthropic ventures benefitting the people of Tulsa.
This was the 85th induction ceremony for the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, hosted by the Oklahoma Heritage Association. More than 650 people have been honored since the hall's inception in 1927.
In addition to Warren, this year's honorees are Eskimo Joe's founder Stan Clark; Olympic gold medalist Bart Conner; Chesapeake Energy Corp. and White Fields Inc. co-founder Tom L. Ward; Lee. R. West, chief U.S. district judge for the Western District of Oklahoma; and Ronald White, co-founder of the American Society of Cardiovascular Interventionalists and Oklahoma Heart Hospital.
Edith Kinney Gaylord, a former Associated Press reporter who became president of the National Women's Press Club and secretary of Eleanor Roosevelt's Press Conference Association before serving on the board of directors of her family's business, the Oklahoma Publishing Co., was honored posthumously.
Her nieces Christy Gaylord Everest and Louise Gaylord Bennett, as well as Inasmuch Foundation President Bob Ross, accepted the award on her behalf. Gaylord founded the charitable foundation in 1982.
Warren, originally from Connecticut, moved to Tulsa in 1980 after marrying William K. Warren Jr., chairman emeritus and vice president of the William K. Warren Foundation.
She said Thursday night that "Dr. Seuss wrote a book called 'Oh the Places You'll Go.' That's what I felt when I came to Oklahoma.
"The best surprise was meeting the people in Oklahoma," she said. "Dr. Seuss could have written another book called 'Oh the People You'll Meet.' "
Warren said it's deeply satisfying to be included with a group of people who have been successful and made a difference in their community and their state.
"Oklahomans are exceptional people," she said. "I'm proud to be selected into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame."
Tulsa native Stan Clark was introduced by presenter Bill Burgess.
Clark, a Memorial High School graduate, went on to obtain a business degree at Oklahoma State University. Two months after graduation, he opened Eskimo Joe's just a block away from the OSU campus.
"You can't go through any airport in the world without seeing an Eskimo Joe's shirt," Burgess said.
Clark said he was honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
"This is something very, very special, I'll tell ya," he said. "I'm deeply humbled to be part of this group."
Clark gave credit to his family and business team for his success.
"Dad planted a seed of entrepreneurship when I was just a kid," he said. "I'm mighty proud to be from Oklahoma."
Timothy Shriver, president and CEO of the Special Olympics, presented inductee Bart Conner, a board member of the nonprofit organization.
Conner called his induction "surprising, because I have one discernible skill: I can walk on my hands."
He proceeded to do a little gymnastics to set himself apart from his fellow inductees and added, "I bet no one has done a handstand during their acceptance speech."
Conner said walking on his hands led him to Oklahoma, three Olympics games and his wife, fellow Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci.
"When I'm introduced as one of the best gymnasts in the world, I say, 'I'm not even the best gymnast in my house,' " he said, and he thanked his family for attending his induction. "This is a really big boost for me."
Original Print Headline: Honoring our own
Sara Plummer 918-581-8465
Oklahoma Hall of fame inductees Bart Connor (from left), Suzanne Warren, Stan Clark, Lee R. West, Tom L. Ward and Ronald White stand together for a picture Thursday night at their induction ceremony at the Renaissance Hotel in Tulsa. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World
Edith Kinney Gaylord: The former reporter, OKC philanthropist and foundation director was honored posthumously