Chet Reyckert was nominated as a Hometown Hero for his donation of the gigantic bulldog at Marrs Elementary as well as all he has done for the community.
“At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” ~Denzel Washington
Chet Reyckert was also presented with the Osage County Historical Society’s Heroes and Legends of Osage County award at a banquet in Pawhuska earlier this year. You have probably seen Chet and his family around Skiatook. Chet owns the Skiatook Statuary, which has been in business for 52 years, his wife Jeannie taught swimming lessons at the pool with the Red Cross for 55 years and his daughter teaches at Marrs Elementary.
Reyckert loves the people he meets through the Skiatook Statuary. “People are spending happy money,” he said. “Things are never the same year after year. We get to meet all kinds of people and come up with all new products,” Reyckert said. The Skiatook Statuary is known far and wide for their Sasquach statues, which can always be seen as you drive down Highway 20.
Reyckert also loves to fly and travel. “I love seeing the world and seeing the world from a different perspective,” he said. “You meet some amazing people around the world.” He has been to Antartica and scaled to the peak of Kilimanjaro, which is more than 19,000 feet high.
When he isn’t working or seeing the world, Reyckert gives his time to helping out the community through the Skiatook Rotary Club. Rotary has been instrumental in the eradication of polio, gives dictionaries to all 3rd graders in the area, and helps out wherever they are needed. Most recently the club repainted the paw prints leading to Skiatook High School.
“I cringe at the term heroes, a term that in my mind is reserved for the military and first responders. And I have to admit legend is a pretty good stretch, but the recognition is both humbling and gratifying,” Reyckert said. “I do have to give the credit to my parents, wife and family for the examples that they have set and the impact our church and Rotary has had to learn about ‘Service Above Self,’ the Rotary motto.”
“As we age in life, success starts to take a backseat to significance, and that is attained with a completely different mindset. And it’s rewards are incalculable,” Reyckert said. “I have given up questioning the how or why of this and decided I will see how I can possibly live up to it.”
The Heroes and Legends Award is given to five people each year who are recognized for their efforts in giving back to their communities.