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2005 - Fresh Paint Days: Best Visual Impact - Newkirk Main Street

 Accepting for Newkirk: (L to R) Joe Cox, H.I.S. Paint Mfg. (Sponsor); Karen Dye, Newkirk M.S. Director; Newkirk M.S. Representative; and Bud Ground, Public Service Co. of Oklahoma (Sponsor)
Just as the Great American Cleanup in Oklahoma was coming to a close this spring, two generous sponsors were brought together by Keep Oklahoma Beautiful and the idea for Fresh Paint Day was born. 

It sounds fairly simple and straightforward – H.I.S. Paint Manufacturing would donate the paint, Public Service Company of Oklahoma would provide financial support while Keep Oklahoma Beautiful would coordinate and administer the campaign to recruit volunteers to transform Oklahoma communities one gallon of paint at a time.

Six communities were selected for the pilot project: Ardmore, Newkirk, Altus, Sand Springs, Cache and Durant. Using tons of creativity and applying a lot of elbow grease, project coordinators called on their volunteers who turned some community eyesores into stunning new storefronts, bright, fresh playground equipment, an eye-popping historical edifice, refreshed interiors for community buildings…even a new coat of paint for a VFW lodge! 

In each of the Fresh Paint Day communities, local media covered the action and a great deal of interest and excitement was created. Without exception, each project coordinator reported gratitude from their communities, volunteers ready to re-up for another project and a resoundingly good report card all around. There will be an expanded Fresh Paint Day in the fall of 2006!

Part of the extra fun of the inaugural Fresh Paint Day was the promise of special recognition to the project selected as having the greatest visual impact. The judges were Joe Cox, president of H.I.S Paint Manufacturing, and Howard Ground of PSO. Although it was difficult to pick only one, the unanimous top choice was Newkirk, led by project coordinator and Newkirk Main Street executive director Karen Dye.

Using a lift truck and some hard-working and artistic volunteers – an old iron clad historic building in downtown Newkirk became a dazzling piece of downtown “art”. The Biggest Brush Award for greatest visual impact in 2005 – goes to the Newkirk Main Street Volunteers.