ROY – The Ogden Weber Community Action Partnership (OWCAP) lived up to its name Tuesday night when it presented the city of Roy with a special award and plaque for its unwavering support of OWCAP over the past 50 years. The two have partnered to give children a place to go for preschool through Head Start, but also have offered other services like free tax help and community assistance over the years.
Dr. Don Carpenter, director of OWCAP and Stephen Thompson, Chairman of the OWCAP board, presented the mayor and city council with the plaque and award at their City Council meeting Tuesday night. Carpenter said they have enjoyed their relationship over the years as Roy has helped facilitate Head Start programs throughout their city.
The city currently has two Head Start sites and are offering free tax (VITA) helps for residents this winter and spring. “Me and the mayor go way back, over 52 years,” Carpenter said with a gentle laugh with regard to Roy’s mayor, Willard Cragun. “You’ve always been a great support to us and we thank you for it,” Carpenter went on.
Carpenter talked about the struggles just over 10 years ago when there was a threat of defunding the program. “I took a lot of heat during that time and we just want to say thank you to Roy City for always supporting our program,” Carpenter said. “Being in a partnership is the name of the game and we can’t do it without you,” Carpenter added.
Thompson added to what Carpenter said, paying high praise to the city and to Roy resident, Thom Dunford. Cragun appointed Dunford to serve on the OWCAP board just over a year ago and since that time Thompson said he has been especially impressed with the city’s involvement.
Dunford writes a piece about OWCAP’s contributions in the city’s monthly newsletter so people know what services are being offered by their organization. “I started getting calls from people, commenting about the newsletter and we could see it was making an impact,” Thompson said. “We appreciate that he has done that, but also that the mayor lets him have that space in the newsletter,” Thompson added.
Dunford has worked in several social work capacities in the state, sees the effect poverty can have on people, and he wants to help. He and his wife have lived in Roy for over 30 years where they have raised their family, which is the reason he has such deep love for the community. “There are many good people here who want to help others and there are some families who need the help. I want to be part of the solution to help those families,” Dunford said. Thompson said his service has been invaluable, as is the support they feel from the whole Roy community.
Thompson not only wants the communities to see how OWCAP can help their families, but also wants to thank the communities for all they have to offer. “Viola Davis said, ‘To be poor is to be invisible.’ You have made poor people visible in Roy and we thank you,” Thompson said.
Applause erupted and Cragun gave the thanks back to OWCAP. “You have helped educate our youth and you have done a wonderful, wonderful job.” Thompson said more programs are on the way for area communities and additional grants have recently been awarded that OWCAP is excited to unveil in the coming months.
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