Shelter Oklahoma Schools joining Plaza Towers Memorial Fund, Norman Car Dealer in School Shelter Effort


Oklahoma House of Representatives
Media Division
May 29, 2013


Contact: State Rep. Jon Echols
Office: (405) 557-7354
Contact: John M. Hunt
Cell: (405) 473-6471

Plaza Towers Memorial Fund, Norman Car Dealer,
Joining Shelter Oklahoma Schools in School Shelter Effort

OKLAHOMA CITY – Shelter Oklahoma Schools, a 501(c)(3) entity started by several legislators and local businesses, is receiving more support throughout central Oklahoma in the quest to safeguard the state’s school-aged children.

The group is joining forces with the Plaza Towers Memorial Fund started by Norman Chrysler Jeep Dodge. Both entities began with the goal of placing a storm shelter in every school in Oklahoma. Rep. Jon Echols said once both groups knew about each other, the best decision was to team up to get the mission accomplished.

“It’s amazing what great work can be done when no one is concerned about getting credit,” said Rep. Echols, R-Oklahoma City. “Anything can happen and this partnership will go a long way in raising the funds needed to place shelters in every school in the state.”

Shelter Oklahoma Schools, with a $500,000 seed-money donation from Apache Corp., and the Plaza Towers Memorial Fund, with $200,000 in seed money of its own, combine to form a united front in keeping students safe in school.

“This is such an important mission for us,” said John Hunt, spokesperson for Norman Chrysler Jeep Dodge. “We call the southern Oklahoma City metro area home and once we learned of the tragedy in Moore we wanted to help in some way. We thought the best route would be to start a fund to get shelters into schools. When we learned about what these House members were doing, we felt it was best to work together on this project and get as much attention for it as possible. We want to help people in this state not just in the present, but in the future as well. I believe this project will accomplish that.”

Rep. Echols said the momentum behind this project is building and that more groups – including members of the Oklahoma City Thunder organization – will be donating to the project.

A press conference is being held on this group’s efforts to safeguard Oklahoma’s schoolchildren today at 1 p.m. in the media room (432-B) on the fourth floor of the state Capitol.