Members of the Over 40 & Handicapped Club of Cimarron Correctional Facility recently made a donation to the Senior Citizen Center in Cushing.
According to club sponsor Ray Odle, the club is devoted to helping older and handicapped inmates cope with the stress of being incarcerated and away from their families as they age.
Club president Joe Allison told KUSH that the donation of $250 was a way to “give back to the community” in a way that’s positive. “We’ve given to the Senior Citizen center before,” Allison said. “It’s the main one we donate to – and it helps seniors.” The club is also currently working to include the “Teen Challenge of Sapulpa” as another community organization to donate money to.
Although it is named The Over 40 & Handicapped Club, inmates do not have to be over 40 or handicapped to take part. “It’s open to anyone,” Allison said. However, certain criteria must be met to hold an office.
“We have to be a certain level,” Allison said. “We can’t be in any trouble.”
The clubs at CCF have just recently started up again after going through some review and reorganization. Different clubs have different community organizations they donate money to. They also give back to the CCF community by donations made to their television station for the purchase of videos and music as well as an appreciation meal of some sorts once a year.
Clubs raise funds by holding yard food sales. The clubs purchase food from local businesses for a certain amount and then sell it in house. “This helps with community relations and makes us feel like we are doing something positive for our society,” Allison stated.
Sponsors of the Over 40 & Handicapped Club are Ray Odle and Sylvia Waters. The club began in Sept. 2000 and has between 40 – 60 members, 33 of which were in attendance the day of the check presentation.