By Doug Warner, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY - Ernie Chastain is a fair man.
For more than a decade the Oklahoma City man has been making sure children can attend the State Fair. It's a mission his colleagues at the Knights of Columbus have been doing for 62 years. They invite and pay the way in for hundreds of local students with special needs. It's just one of the many ways Ernie has been helping the intellectually disabled community for years.
We all have the opportunity in life to help others, but a lot of us are busy with our own lives and don't find the time to help others," said Jim O'Brien with the Center of Family Love. "Ernie Chastain has always been a model of helping others within the Knights of Columbus - all these years."
The Center of Family Love is a facility designed to offer shelter, food, training and hope for adults with intellectual disabilities. Chastain was one of its founding fathers when the center first opened its doors in the late 1970s.
Chastain was nominated for the award by his daughter.
"He had a special place in his heart for children with special needs as well as adults," Cheryl Jones said. "He's my hero."
Chastain said he's touched by the nomination, but tries to shift attention to the works of the Knights of Columbus as a whole. For 62 years they've been hosting a fair day for local students. They, along with Chastain, have played a large role in the Center of Family Love's success.
"Very proud that she would think of me that way," he said of his nomination from his daughter.