EDITORIAL: Waken receives a well-deserved honor

Enid News & Eagle, Okla.
·3 min read

Feb. 28—THUMBS UP

Thumbs up to Brad Waken for receiving the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

The honor is not one handed out. In fact, Waken is the first person to receive the award since 2000.

"They don't hand them out just to everybody," Cimarron Council BSA District Executive David Starks said. "It's just the dedication to a career in addition to Scouting itself. A person puts in a lot of time and energy into multiple things."

Waken joined Boy Scouts in 1966, earned his Eagle Scout rank in 1978 and has been involved in Scouting ever since.

DESA, established in 1969 and the highest honor in the National Eagle Scout Association, acknowledges Eagle Scouts who have "received extraordinary national-level recognition, fame or demonstrated eminence within their field, and have a strong record of voluntary service to their community."

Waken is vice president of marketing for BSA's Area Southern Region 8. In the years since 1978, Waken has served on the Cimarron Council's board, previously as president, and numerous committees. The council covers 19 Oklahoma counties including Garfield County. He also is on the board for the Oklahoma chapter of Certified Commercial Investment Members and is chairman of marketing for CCIM Institute. He's involved with local community nonprofits such as Our Daily Bread and Community Development Support Association and is a Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce ambassador.

Congratulations on a well-deserved honor.

THUMBS UP

Thumbs up to having a fellow Oklahoman take over Enid-based company Maria Rae's.

We understand why Marie Rae's creator, entrepreneur Mary Buthman, who is now in her 70s, wants to retire and sell ownership of the food line. However, the made-in-Oklahoma products have deep roots in Enid, even though food processing was contracted out to a larger Tahlequah company years ago.

We welcome the investment by Johnny Cafarella, who says he wants to take the brand nationally. He has big plans, and we wish him all the success.

He said he will keep the Maria Rae sales office in Enid and the manufacturing plant in Tahlequah. We are glad to hear Cafarella say he will keep the Enid connection.

THUMBS UP

Thumbs up to Doug and Kristin da Silva, owners of Red Rock Firearms.

They take an education-focused, safety-focused approach to the firearms business, and deserve credit for that approach.

Strong Second Amendment advocates sometimes take a beating, especially in social media outbursts, from people who look at crime statistics and — in a broad and emotional brushstroke — paint all firearms as bad. A conversation with the Red Rock owners quickly dispels those misconceptions.

Both Doug and Kristin grew up around firearms — their families sold guns, and Doug was active in shooting competitions — safety around them was drilled into both.

"Safety is a big part of firearms ownership," Doug da Silva said. "People want to be responsible firearms operators. We want them to be educated and them to know their rights. The educated person is less likely to break the law if they know the law. We want responsible firearms operators."

Their professionalism and commitment to education is great to hear.