Birthday Parties at Murdock Ongoing

Monday, January 28, 2013

By Ralph Schaefer
Tulsa Business & Legal News
Published Monday, January 21, 2013

Birthdays have a sweet song and are special for Murdock Villa residents.  That is because University of Tulsa College of Law faculty and staff members have been sponsoring birthday parties every December. Since the inaguration, other groups have stepped up and helped with parties. 

The effort began when Murdock Villa was designated as a University of Tulsa True Blue Neighbor.  That designation made it possible for volunteer hours to be logged for student, faculty and staff time.  The staff can help with parties and submit community service time for their absence.

It was in 2009 that a group formed to start the birthday party program.  Founders included Pedro Mari; Linda Smith; Meghan King; Lou Lindsey; Malori Dahmen; Professor Carrie Basas; Andrew McAlister and Jennifer Flexner.  Each month during the school year a different law student organization steps up to put the party on, said Christy Caves, assistant dean and director of experiential learning. The TU law faculty and staff pick up the pary each December when students are preparing for final exams.

Lou Lindsey, who retired from the TU Law Library, originally organized the event.  Parties start with volunteers passing out drinks.  Individuals with birthdays during the month are honored with their photo taken in front of the cake.  Groups provide savory snacks or fruit and vegetables with dips.  Many groups also entertain or present a trivia contest and prizes are awarded.  NALSA gave away donated native posters.

Law alumna Jessica Hunt has sung at many parties during the years.  Kim Childers, a TU Law Microcomputer Specialist, has made custom birthday cards since March 2009 and some Murdock residents say they have kept and some have framed their cards.

Perfect attendance certificates also have been made and special presents and decorations for Christmas and St. Patrick's Day have been presented.  Childers made birthday cards in advance so the sponsoring group has time to get the membership to sign the cards.

Birthday cakes have been provided by Grace Hospice since March 2011.  Prior to that time the cakes were donated by local groceries and Good Shephard Hospice.

Meg Carson from Grace Hospice does a "cake parade" that displays the "spectatulcar" cake decorations, Caves continued.  The decorations follow the party theme.  Grace Hospice volunteer clowns entertained at the August 2012 party.

Others hosting parties include the New Haven United Methodist Church Outreach Committee and two United Methodist Women Circles at the church.  A coffee club from Cherry Street Panera has sponsored the party every June and a Girl Scout troop has hosted two parties.  The Booker T. Washington National Honor Society also hosted a party.

Murdock Villa members received a follow-up after the last party hosted by the Paw Law group.  Through the efforts of Professor Vicki Limas, staff members from the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals came for a pet-owner training series of visits.  The SPCA also has come to Murdock Villa for on-site pet vaccinations.


Ralph Schaefer