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INN the NEWS 1-30-14


The Panhandle Inn was built in 1924 and closed around 1970. The Inn has now sat vacant for a few years shy of the number of years it was occupied.Government funding was unsuccessfully sought in 1999. 10 years later in 2009, Deborah and Larry Summers obtained 501(C)3 non-profit status for the Inn, formed the Panhandle Inn Foundation, and deeded the Panhandle Inn to the newly formed foundation.In 2012, the Panhandle Inn was deemed structurally sound, inspected for asbestos and received its first big break by being placed on Preservation Texas Most Endangered Places List. Architect Charles Lynch was hired and a $10,000 preservation planning grant was received from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The 1968 Pontiac Tempest was donated by Jimmy Don Mitchell and nearly $40,000 was raised from its raffle proceeds. Sales on vintage Panhandle street signs donated by the city of Panhandle, The Shop in The Inn, and the Frighten Inn spook house further boosted fund raising efforts.Panhandle High School adopted the Panhandle Inn as its Community Service Project in 2013 for School Year 2013-14 which could prove to be the Panhandle Inn’s greatest accomplishment thus far. TheBlack Tie Non Event was deemed a success with proceeds just over $6000.Team INNovation, PHS students collaborating with Panhandle Inn board members and area professionals, will be selected and begin developing and implementing a strategic marketing plan to secure funds for the renovation of the Panhandle Inn. The Panhandle Inn Foundation Grant Committee is currently preparing grant applications for spring submissions.Learn more about the historic Panhandle Inn at and watch for Panhandle Herald’s “Inn the News”, a monthly column written by Team INNovation.


Mrs. Bradford’s fall Community Service Class ended their semester with a letter writing contest. Using knowledge gained from researching the history of the U.S., Texas, Panhandle and Ernest O. Thompson, the students composed letters to gain support for the restoration of the Panhandle Inn. The winners were selected by the Panhandle Inn Foundation board members.The top three writers received SAVE THE INN T-shirts and $25 cash. The winners were: Best Over All-“The Panhandle Inn: Second Debut” by Jodie Detten (Most Likely To work in public relations), Best Creative Spin-“Red Bricks” by Dalton George (PHS’ future famous historical novelist) and Best Call to Action-“Passion” by Kendra Reining (Future philanthropic fund raising executive).Other participants: Colby Roach and Jett Cates, Austin Browder and Red Hughey, Amber Bellah and Tori Chavez, Brodie Powers, Austin Terrell, Ryan Shemwell and Jason Durham, and Tonya Pavez and Kaylee Yarger. Along with the three winners, Brody Powers and Colby Roach received SAVE THE INN! T-shirts for their extra effort given and leadership shown as they worked with their groups.Posted in Local News –Panhandle Herald 



INN the NEWS 2-27-14

By Kendra Reining, Team INNovation Public Relations

Team INNovation is driven and focused on the goal of obtaining funds for the renovation of Panhandle's historic Panhandle Inn.  Team members have transformed the old high school band hall/storage room into Team INN Headquarters.  The Team meets Tuesdays and Thursdays during I-Time.  Members include: Tanner Richardson-High School Liasison, Katlynn Freeman-Public Relations, Kendra Reining-Public Relations/Communications Specialist, and Addi Albracht-Visual Graphics/Communications.  Web site maintenance/Video production Team includes Colby Neeley, Cobi Pace and Cade Throgmorton.


Team INNovation is now preparing for City Council request on February 27, at 7 o'clock in City Hall.  The team is requesting a written commitment from the City of Panhandle to negotiate the relocation of City Hall to the Panhandle Inn upon the Inn's complete renovation.  The City's written commitment to negotiate will be a key component included in the Panhandle Inn's grant applications.


The Panhandle Inn Foundation is preparing spring grant proposals totaling $1 million.  Team INN's grant proposals will follow the completion of a strategic marketing plan targeting the oil and gas industries.  The goal is $4 million.


Citizens of Panhandle are encouraged to attend the City Council Meeting on Thursday Feb. 27, at 7 o'clock in City Hall.




INN the News 3-27-14



By Kendra Reining Team INNovation Public Relations

On Feb. 24, Foundation members, Kay Williams and Julie Young attended a grant writing workshop held by the Amarillo Area Foundation. Grants for spring submission are being finalized. The first grant was submitted on March 23.

On Feb. 27, Team INNovation members Katlynn Freeman, Tanner Richardson, and Cobi Pace requested a letter of commitment from the City Council to negotiate the relocation of City Hall to the Panhandle Inn.  After finishing their presentation, City Council unanimously passed the request for the letter of commitment to negotiate the relocation of City Hall to the Panhandle Inn once renovated. Team INNovation would like to thank City Council and Mayor Looten for listening to our request, and granting it.  

On Mar.  13, Board Members Julie Young, Kay Williams, and PHS Liaison Tanner Richardson met with Odis McClellan President of O.H.M. Operating Inc. in Borger.  Mr. McClellan gave a very informative and interesting presentation on geology as related to oil and gas and the history of the oil and gas industry.  Sadly, only team member, Tanner, got to attend this with the board members because the other members of the team where out of town. Team INNovation would like to thank Odis McClellan for taking time out of his day to share his knowledge.

“After meeting with Odis, he has motivated me to consider studying Petroleum Engineering. I found what he told us fascinating, and it made me want to look into the Oil and Gas Industry more. I appreciate Odis McClellan sitting down with us and helping us have a better understanding of the Oil and Gas Industry.” – Tanner Richardson 


INN the NEWS 4-24-14


The Panhandle Inn Foundation has had a busy and productive month.  Grant application were submitted to the Summerlee Foundation (Dallas), the David and Nona Payne Foundation (Pampa), and the Mary E. Bivins Foundation (Amarillo).  Each application is requesting $100,000.  Currently the Amarillo Area Foundation is reviewing the Inn’s application.  Once the review is complete, corrections and additions will be made, and the final application will be submitted.  Three more applications completing the total at $900,000 will follow with the last submission being June 1.  Preliminary Construction budget for Phase I is $450,000.


Ernest Thompson had the Panhandle Inn built.  It is because of his contributions to the oil and gas industry that funds for Phase II are sought from within this industry.   Thompson was appointed Railroad Commissioner in 1932 by Governor Ross Sterling.  The impact Thompson’s work for oil conservation and his success to bring order to the oil industry during his terms is matched by no other.  His historical marker at Thompson Park reads, “No other man has had greater influence on our country’s economy in the history of our great nation.”


A comprehensive list of oil companies and addresses has been compiled.  An information packet will be assembled to distribute to these companies.  All are encouraged to share names of friends or family that work within the oil and gas industry.  All contacts within this industry will be valuable to the delivery and acceptance of the packets.


INN the NEWS 5-29-14

May INN the NEWS featured a copy of the David D. and Nona S. Payne Foundation $10,000 check for their construction grant to the Panhandle Inn Foundation.

INN the NEWS 6-26-14


The Panhandle Inn’s big news for June is the generosity of renowned artist Larry Hilburn of Hollis, OK.   Mr. Hilburns’s exceptional work is showcased currently and through August in the Square House’s Hazelwood Auditorium.  His artwork is available for purchase with two-thirds of the proceeds being shared between the Square House and the Panhandle Inn.  Mr. Hilburn is a very dear friend of Dorothy Broadaway and our appreciation goes to Dorothy for sharing her love of the Inn with Larry.  Don’t miss this fascinating and most unique exhibit!


The Inn is still celebrating the $10,000 construction grant received from the David D. and Nona S. Payne Foundation of Pampa.  With this check, a Construction Account has been opened as we are certain this is our first of many to come.


June 3rd, Kay Williams and Julie Young met with Joy Gray Shadid and her McCormick Advertising team to discuss marketing strategies.  The Panhandle Inn Foundation is excited about this new partnership.


It would be nice to spiff up our grand old lady before Independence Day by hanging her shutters on the second floor windows and putting plywood over the first floor windows.  Anyone that would want to do this good deed for the Inn and our community, please call Julie Young at 290-5295.


Please know, SAVING THE INN is taking longer than any of us want, but every day we are closer.  We are moving forward, slowly but surely.  Thank you for helping to SAVE THE INN! with your monetary gifts and your volunteering.










INN the NEWS 9-4-14


Hello reader!  How rare you are in this 21st century technology soaked media world!  You are reading this article on paper which was delivered to your post office box by snail mail.  According to the Pew Research Center, “the percent of Americans who say they read a print newspaper continues to drop, falling 18 points over the last decade to 23%”.  I’m in that 23% myself.  My days begin with the Amarillo Globe News.  Front to back and finishing with the Sudoku puzzle. All in all, maybe an hour of my day is gone.  I feel this is a productive use of my time as I gain a well-rounded knowledge of happenings in Amarillo, the panhandle, Texas, and nationally. The Herald still provides me with community happenings.  The school, city, and county minutes are an important read for me, and engagements and weddings just don’t seem official until the couples’ pictures appear in the Herald.  And Reader, my guess is you are over 40 and that you too count on the Herald for community news.


I am now 51, and I do have at least one foot in the 21st century.  I have an IPhone and I know how to use it. It’s great for talking, texting (Yes, I know how.), and photos. I don’t tweet, Instagram, or take selfies, but I could if I wanted.  Even though I get Face Book notifications ALL day, I ignore them choosing to log on in the evening for a quick scroll down through the posts.  Face Book is just too much stuff.  It reminds me of being back in high school, way before technology, returning to school after an absence, and my friends in front of me blurting every little thing that I had missed.  Biggest difference is my friends blurted out everything I “needed” to know face to face in minutes compared to the 24/7 continuous feed social media provides today.  Probably the best thing about social media and technology in communication is its ability to reach millions in seconds.  This means smiles produced because of joys shared and prayers said for those dealing with life’s troubles are significantly multiplied.  And make no mistake, when one needs a message out…there is no better method than via internet. 


I know these powers and capabilities of technology.  I also know that attention paid to this bombardment of information is a sizable drain of “brain” time and productivity lost to content and conversations focusing on the “now” of people and events and rarely knocking on the door of exploring ideas or working towards solutions. When I was young, my uncle Jay Bob shared a quote with me that became a favorite of mine: “Small minds talk about people.  Average minds talk about events.  Great minds talk about ideas.”  Scrolling through Face Book leaves me hungry for ideas and creative problem solving.


Also, as a result of using texting, emailing and social media as a replacement for ol’ fashioned face-to-face conversation, people are lacking in their written and verbal communication skills. Studies show that only 7% of communication is based on the written or verbal word. A whopping 93% is based on nonverbal body language.   There is no denying face-to-face conversation is the most authentic way to deliver a message. Texting, emailing and social media are now an overused replacement for ol’ fashioned face-to-face conversation.  I see these replacements as consuming the attention of young and old alike.  Attention that was once paid to meaningful “you look at me and I look at you” conversations. Those of us who are older know and research shows, better comprehension of the message is achieved by observing the facial expressions and body language present as the message is delivered.  Also, many life lessons are to be learned through the experience of “face to face” conversation. 


I still remember a time in high school when our choir teacher, Mrs. Purvines, had arranged for us to sing for the Lion’s Club downtown during lunch. In order to be where I was needed, I would have to ask Coach Adams if I could leave 4th Period Athletics a little early.  I couldn’t get up the nerve to ask, so I let Mrs. Purvines down as well as the other choir members by not being where I was expected.  (And, I got in a lot of trouble from Mrs. P., Coach Adams and my mom and dad.)  In hind sight, I feel certain if I could have by passed that face-to-face encounter with Coach Adams and just texted or Face Book messaged him, I would have been where I needed to be that day.  I learned much growing up through entering in face-to-face conversation, and so today, even in my haste, I know if the message and its reception are important, they need to be delivered in person.

Following a recent Panhandle Inn grant rejection, I realized the power of delivering a message in person when our grant was unable to communicate through written word our unfailing determination to see the renovation of the Panhandle Inn through. The Panhandle Inn Foundation’s rejection letter came from the Mary E. Bivins Foundation in Amarillo.  After corresponding with their grants coordinator for weeks in working to prepare the most complete application, our board was devastated.  In asking the coordinator where the Inn’s application fell short, she replied that her board felt Panhandle lacked the ability to raise the necessary $4 million for the complete renovation. What we had tried to communicate on paper had no facial expressions or body language. “Panhandle, People of Pride and Purpose” had no face-to-face voice.  No fault of the Bivins’ Board, but they don’t know us.  They don’t know that when we get our teeth stuck in, there is no letting go. We needed to be able to sit down with the Bivins’ Board and share with them our ideas and our plans for accomplishment.


As I thought about the rejection and the inability to represent Panhandle’s determination and ambition on paper, I began to consider the power of social media.  The recent Ice Bucket Challenge came to my mind.  What a great call to action for a most worthy cause. Sure to be 2014’s top social media campaign, the Ice Bucket Challenge was started by an athlete diagnosed with ALS.   The challenge has received national attention, raised awareness of this horrible disease, and rose over $22 million in contributions.  Participants should feel proud for giving of their time and money to promote finding a cure for this debilitating disease and to having put their efforts towards a cause worthy of collaborated efforts.  In a time when our nation is in severe unrest and seems split on so many issues, the success of this campaign is refreshing as its success was at the hands of all walks of life participating for the good of something far greater than the here and now.


Now you are probably asking yourself where Julie is going with all this.  The short answer is:  At our next board meeting, September 9th, the Panhandle Inn Foundation will entertain hiring a professional fund raiser to increase our fund raising capabilities.  In the meantime, I challenge all of you “great minds” to give the Panhandle Inn some creative thought.  The raising of $4 million from within our community is difficult at least.  With a creative social media challenge, all PHS exes who have prospered due to their PHS education and life lessons learned here in Panhandle and residents that have now moved on but still hold Panhandle in their hearts can join our efforts.  The Panhandle Inn needs a creative social media challenge which will bring the people of Panhandle together no matter where they live.  Let’s use social media for something much bigger than the “here and now”.  A successful campaign would help foundations and other potential contributors to “know us”, and to feel confident in their investment in our project.  Social media can join efforts to SAVE THE INN.


Thank you for reading my thoughts and ideas.  The Panhandle Inn Foundation welcomes any and all ideas for meeting our community’s goal of raising $4 million for the complete historic adaptive reuse renovation of the Panhandle Inn. Together WE CAN DO THIS!



Julie Young

President Panhandle Inn Foundation



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