Local couple honored for creating special memories for children in low-income community

OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma City couple has no children of their own, yet they give whatever they can to make life special for the hundreds of kids in their community.

Craig McCormick and Wayne Clinton own an antique shop in a low-income area at the corner of Northwest 10th and Classen.

Although the name of their business is "The Basement," the couple's actions are top shelf.

"They just have really big hearts. They're like the uncles that you wish you had in a way," the community's Neighborhood Association President Jessica Thompson said. "I think that's what's really special is because they give, and they want to see kids happy and give them memories," she said.

Jessica says the couple uses what money they have left to donate to neighborhood family events at McKinley Park's community center.

"They've paid for makeup artists to come and do face-painting for kids at our festivals, they've donated desserts and such for the community dinners, they stockpile Easter eggs," Jessica said. "I mean, thousands of eggs."

She says Craig and Wayne have also donated pumpkins for children to paint at Halloween, pinatas, and hundreds of bags of popcorn for a neighborhood movie night.

Jessica says the entire neighborhood of 1,200 homes is extremely grateful for Craig and Wayne's generosity, so she nominated the couple for a Pay It 4Ward award from First Fidelity Bank.

"Love you guys," Jessica said as she surprised the men at their shop with $400. "Thank you so much for everything you do in our neighborhood, for the kids, for the community, thank you."

"Thank you, Jessica," Craig said. "This is remarkable, this is just amazing...I'm trying not to cry a whole lot," he said with a smile.

Wayne also chimed in, "When we first bought our house, it's like we were home the first day, and it's been that way ever since, and the neighborhood's gotten a whole lot better since we've been here."

The couple has lived in their home for 15 years in the same neighborhood where they sell little treasures in their store - and where they'll continue to use any funds leftover to help support the even greater treasures growing up in their neighborhood.

"It's nice to feel the love," Craig said.

Pay It 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.