Miss Oklahoma 2012 visited Shawnee Wednesday to speak to members of the Central Oklahoma Economic Development District (COEDD) about volunteering.
Alicia Clifton, who was crowned Miss Oklahoma in June, was at the bi-monthly COEDD board of directors’ meeting as volunteers for the organization were recognized for their service.
The meeting coincides with Clifton’s platform of volunteering and making good decisions.
“Whenever you think about volunteering, it needs to be something you do right when you think about it,” she said. “If you’re going to take the action to go forth and do it, it needs to be something you enjoy doing.”
Clifton spoke briefly about assumptions regarding pageant contestants, claiming that some critics think they just want world peace.
“World peace would be fabulous … but I can’t change the world by myself,” but people can have an impact on other individual lives through volunteering, she said.
Volunteers, which included rural firemen and ombudsmen, were at the meeting to be recognized for their work. The volunteers at the meeting had around 75 years of combined volunteer service among them.
The COEDD is a grant funding that serves seven counties and 52 communities. Many of the COEDD’s programs are driven by volunteers, Greg Clifton, director of COEDD, said.
“They really go out of their way, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles to visit sites … just really above and beyond,” he said. “They really do a tremendous service for our region.”
The ombudsman program trains and certifies volunteers who advocates for quality care in Oklahoma Long Term Care Facilities, Assisted Living Centers and Residential Care Homes. The volunteers are supervised by a professional COEDD-AAA staff ombudsman who is part of the statewide aging services network supported by the Oklahoma State Ombudsman Program, according to COEDD website.