Community Effort Gives Old Pryor Community Center New Life


Tuesday, January 19th 2021, 9:34 pm
By: Kristen Weaver


PRYOR, Okla. -

Pryor has a new community center, thanks to a real community effort. They said it was a labor of love to bring an old building back to life that will now give seniors, veterans and recovering addicts a place to meet.

The building is the epitome of community, a place once old and falling apart, is now home to three organizations helping people in Pryor.

The 50-year-old Sertoma building used to serve senior citizens is city-owned and had fallen into disrepair.

Wayne Perego, a Sertoma member and the co-founder of the Northeastern Oklahoma Veteran's Freedom Tour, which sends vets to national monuments, wanted to change that.

"We needed a place to call home," Perego said.

Perego put the word out, and local businesses and volunteers started flooding in.

An internet company set up the internet and six TV's, a local plumbing company installed a kitchen sink and people gave & built decorations. When the city offered to pay for flooring and new ceilings, recovering addicts going through a nonprofit recovery program called Reincarnation Cottages used their carpentry skills to pitch in and help.

"We're always trying to pour into the men. We have guys with skills and trades," said Matt Schenck, with Reincarnation Cottages.

The building is now ready to serve three different groups. It'll be used again for Sertoma to feed and help seniors, Reincarnation Cottages will use it for addicts to meet with their families, and the veterans' group now has a headquarters.

"We started as strangers and now we're a big family," said army veteran Cindy Hoffman.

Pryor Mayor Larry Lees said the citizens showed up, and now they have a place to enjoy for so many years to come.

"Talk is cheap. We put feet to our talk, and we go out and we do," said Lees. 

To help the Northeastern Oklahoma Veterans with their upcoming flight for veterans to Washington D.C., you can donate here or email neoveteransfreedomtour@gmail.com.