Making dreams possible

Making dreams possible

A Tulsa woman gets in on the action at a Tulsa Oilers game.

Tulsa Oilers team captain Tyler Butler shows Jean Shipley, 84, where to drop the puck between his teammate Sean Erickson (front left) and Luke Fritshaw of the Rapid City Rush in a ceremonial faceoff before the teams’ game Friday at the BOK Center. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World

By DEON J. HAMPTON World Staff Writer

Published: 3/6/2010  2:20 AM

Last Modified: 3/6/2010  8:05 AM

At age 84, Jean Shipley lives life to the fullest.

She delighted in her latest adventure Friday night, when Tulsa Oilers team captain Tyler Butler pushed her wheelchair to center ice at the BOK Center so she could drop the ceremonial first puck before a Central Hockey League game between the Tulsa Oilers and the Rapid City Rush.

As she made her way around the rink, Shipley, who has survived a stroke and breast cancer, received an ovation from fans.

“It was great; we have to do it again,” said Shipley, who was taking in her first hockey game and making her first trip to the BOK Center. She added, “The captain was a neat-looking fella.”

Dream Chasers, a program of Gold Medallion Senior Housing and Health Care, and the Oilers set up Shipley’s big night.

Accompanied by her son and church members, Shipley said she wanted to skate as a child but didn’t have enough balance and wasn’t good at it. She said Friday’s ceremony ranks high among her life experiences.

Sara Gaither, director of operations for Gold Medallion, said the company, which operates independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care facilities, tries every quarter to make one of its resident’s dreams possible.

Gaither said the company once helped a resident who loved horses but never owned one.

After apples and carrots had been put in the woman’s window while she was asleep, cowboys on horseback approached, and the horses ate the goodies as she watched.

Read more from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20100306_11_A13_TulsaO743508&archive=yes

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