Nearly 40 years had passed since the Sponsors of Worthy Endeavors last donated funds from their treasury, but when Jerrell Chesney learned money was needed for the Veteran’s Memorial at Woodland Veteran’s Park, he knew it was time to use the more than $4,000 sitting untouched in the account.

“After I read about the efforts to raise funds for the memorial, I knew that money was in the bank and I thought it should be used for some good,” Chesney said.

Chesney knew that in order to donate the remaining funds, a board of directors had to be reconstituted for SOWE.


Nearly 40 years had passed since the Sponsors of Worthy Endeavors last donated funds from their treasury, but when Jerrell Chesney learned money was needed for the Veteran’s Memorial at Woodland Veteran’s Park, he knew it was time to use the more than $4,000 sitting untouched in the account.
“After I read about the efforts to raise funds for the memorial, I knew that money was in the bank and I thought it should be used for some good,” Chesney said.
Chesney knew that in order to donate the remaining funds, a board of directors had to be reconstituted for SOWE.
“I contacted the SOWE founding members that are still living and contacted the members and presidents of civic clubs so we could appoint people, and we reconstituted the board,” Chesney said.
Of the nine members on the controlling board, five had to be elected from SOWE’s legal membership. The remaining four were to be appointed, according to the organization’s bylaws, with one representative each from the Jaycees, the Shawnee Kiwanis, the Lions, and the Rotary Club civic organizations.
The Jaycees disbanded a number of years ago and therefore did not select an appointee, Chesney said.
Chesney continued to work toward approval of the donation and by early May it was agreed that all of the remaining funds would be disbursed for use on the Veteran’s Memorial.
As a result of that decision, Chesney presented Cecil Johnston, on behalf of the Veteran’s Memorial Fundraising Group, a $4,266.83 check from SOWE’s treasury Friday morning at the Shawnee Milling Company.
Tom Smith, American Legion Cmdr. Joe Freeman, and Bill Ford, the Rotary Club’s appointee, joined Chesney and Johnston for the presentation.
Prior to this donation, the last disbursement Chesney could recall was a $1,000 donation to Hope House in December 1970.
“The organization just drifted into inactivity,” Chesney said, explaining the reason for the long period of inactivity.
SOWE began with founding members Chesney, Lloyd Henry, Harber Lampl, Harvey McEver, Cecil Nelon, Don Owen, Ross Porter, Ben Smith Jr., and Bill Weaver, following a few years’ of success with the Faith-7 Bowl, which was founded in 1965, Chesney said.
“After a few years of success with the Faith-7 Bowl’s operation, there were some who felt even greater and broader community support could be generated by an expansion of its purpose without doing harm to its initial purpose of financially supporting the Faith-7 School and the Oklahoma and Texas Associations of the Mentally Retarded,” Chesney said. 
The current board of directors, which included legal members Chesney, Johnston, Ray Belford, B.T. Walker and Bill Weaver, along with Lions Club appointee Dick Curtis, Shawnee Kiwanis appointee Beverly Ledbetter, and Rotary Club appointee Ford, voted May 5 to disband the organization after the disbursement of the remaining funds to the Veteran’s Memorial Fundraising Group.
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Johnna Ray may be reached at 214-3934.