Taking Care of Business: Serving short stacks for a big cause

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, March 16, 2019
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Shriners Fundraiser

SHRINERS FUNDRAISER – Decatur Mayor Martin Woodruff (second from right) issued a proclamation declaring Tuesday Flip It Forward for Kids at IHOP in Decatur. The national fundraiser benefits Shriners Hospitals for Children. Also pictured are (from left) Guy Tyra, Cecil Lemond and Chuck Huddleston. Submitted photo

Fluffy pancakes are just what the doctor ordered, and IHOP gave away free short stacks Tuesday to patrons who made a donation to Shriners Hospitals for Children.

It was Flip It Forward for Kids – an annual fundraiser for the hospital, and local Shriners were on hand to greet guests and accept donations. Decatur Mayor Martin Woodruff even issued a proclamation recognizing the day. IHOP Manager Jennifer Rhodes said the Decatur location has been collecting donations since the end of February and likely will continue the drive through the end of March. For every donation, you receive a $5 gift certificate for pancakes.

“We appreciate that Decatur has taken such an interest in it,” she said.

Rhodes said the server who collects the most donations will receive a teddy bear, courtesy of Shriners.


What will Wise County look like without Devon Energy?

It’s a concern for many, especially those employed at the Bridgeport office and their families.

Devon announced last month it will sell its local assets and those in Canada to complete its transformation to a high-return U.S. oil growth business. Corporate Communications Director John Porretto said the sale should be complete by the end of 2019 but was vague with most other details. When asked if personnel would be cut at the Bridgeport office this year, he said nothing had been finalized.

On March 6, “The Oklahoman” reported Devon would lay off 200 people immediately with more to come later in the year. The article did not specify where those layoffs would occur, but Porretto was quoted as saying: “While most job reductions will be associated with the separation of assets in North Texas and Canada, there will be additional reductions at our headquarters in Oklahoma City and at some field locations. The full extent of those reductions has not been finalized ….”

Although there is still no concrete information as to the future of local employees, it feels a bit ominous. That being said, a new company could purchase the local assets and keep the staff. There’s a few ways this could go, and it’s the fear of the unknown that has people on edge.

Affected by association are local non-profits. Devon Energy has contributed greatly to the community through the years, and funding for some programs will take a hit in its absence. Devon has accounted for almost half of the United Way of Wise County’s funds in recent years, issued numerous education grants and has always been a big player at the Youth Fair auction, just to name a few ways they’ve touched the lives of citizens. Without them taking the lead, other businesses and folks will have to step up to fill the gap.


Messenger president and longtime mentor Roy Eaton casually tells me, in the context of another story, that he and Jeannine went to Chick-fil-A one day last week. I interrupt him. Why did he not bring me anything?

He said they weren’t coming straight back to Decatur; they had to go to Kroger afterward. But I’m not so sure.

Days without Chick-fil-A in Wise County: 180.

Kristen Tribe is publisher of the Wise County Messenger. If you have a business tip, call her at 940-627-5987 or email

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