New Awnings at Local Food Bank

Mike Seals - May 6, 2021 12:03 am


A team of volunteers recently partnered up to install fresh new outdoor awnings for the New Emergency Resource Agency-Food Resource Center, known locally as NERA, and located at 112 South 1st Street in downtown Ponca City.

The sturdy all-weather shields were sourced, constructed, and mounted on the building’s exterior at no cost to the charitable non-profit, thereby preserving NERA resources to benefit nearly 15,000 food-insecure and housing-challenged clients each year. The Agency serves North Central Oklahoma and is widely recognized as a state-of-the-art facility for the services it provides, as one of only 12 official Food Resource Centers in the State.

Several craftsmen donated time, materials, labor, and equipment to make the awnings a reality. Mark Love, Director of Technology & Logistics at Cherokee Strip Credit Union, served as Project Lead. Mark teamed up with Ronnie Carter and Tracy Rinehart of Mitchco Fabrication, and Larry Love of Centerline Inc, to locate frames and purchase metal roofing in Oklahoma City, before transporting all that back to Mitchco facilities.

From there, owner Mitch Garrity donated time and location space to store and improve the raw metal, making modifications and updates which improved framing strength and stability. Mitch, Ronnie, and Tracy verified building measurements, ordered all project materials, and spent time welding additional bracing and reinforcement throughout the structures. Meanwhile, Cherokee Strip Credit Union made a donation that helped Mitchco purchase the metal roofing, chosen as a bright shade of blue by NERA Executive Director Tom Short and his staff.

Once assembly was complete, Powell Electric donated their time, materials, and equipment to properly install the awnings for a safe and resilient fit. Owner Bill Powell and his skilled team of Matt McKinney, Jaycob McKinney, and Cole Butler secured the frames from both within and outside the building.

NERA Board Chair Erin Liberton of Phillips 66 noted the awnings were a wish-list item for some time. “We’re so pleased to see the awnings finally become a reality, to better protect NERA clients from bad weather, as well as further improve the downtown landscape and make our building easily-recognizable to those who may not have visited before.”

NERA continues to make a powerful and positive impact in our community. Through an alliance with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and their trusted network of local grocers and charitable partners, NERA is able to turn every dollar donated into nearly 5 meals for neighbors in need. To learn more or donate now, visit

Mitchco Fabrication is a family-owned and operated fabrication and machine shop located at 2104 North Ash Street in Ponca City, and can be reached on Facebook or at (580)762-0256.

Centerline Inc specializes in new industrial spindles, spindle repair, and precision grinding or machining. They are located at 2110 North Ash Street in Ponca City, with more available at (580)762-5451 or

Powell Electric is one of the fastest-growing electrical contractors in Kay County, and can be reached on Facebook or at (405)423-5663. To treat yourself to a better way of banking at Cherokee Strip Credit Union, call (580)718-4000 or click JOIN NOW at

BELOW:  Enjoying a bit of shade from the new awnings, left to right: NERA Board Chair Erin Liberton of Phillips 66; Bill Powell, Matt McKinney, Cole Butler, and Jaycob McKinney of Powell Electric; Ronnie Carter, Tracy Rinehart, and Mitch Garrity of Mitchco Fabrication; Larry Love of Centerline Inc; and Mark Love of Cherokee Strip Credit Union.


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