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Wylie column is ‘smashing’ success at OPA

[ 0 ] June 18, 2014 |

Faith Wylie accepts the sweepstakes award for column writing from Cherokee Ballard, communications manager for Oklahoma Natural Gas. The two discovered that both have survived Lymphoma cancer.

Sometimes, getting smashed can be a winning experience.

Faith Wylie’s column titled “Getting smashed with the girls” was named Oklahoma’s best newspaper column in 2013 at the Oklahoma Press Association annual convention last week in Midwest City.

The column features a humorous account of a mammogram party for the women of the Oologah Lake Leader staff.

(Here’s a link to the winning column:

The award was presented by OPA and Oklahoma Natural Gas, which has sponsored the contest since 1939.

“Getting smashed” was first honored as the August 2013 winner. It was then selected from the monthly winners for the sweepstakes award. The contest includes both weekly and daily newspapers of all sizes.

Wylie also won the sweepstakes in 1997 and 2000. She is co-publisher of the Leader.

“We had the mammogram party because one of our staff ladies had found a lump. To support her, we all got tested together. We were thrilled when we were all cleared by the mammograms,” Wylie said.

“At the time, I had been chasing a strange rash for several weeks. Two months later, I was diagnosed with lymphoma. Only then did I realize that the mystery rash was a side effect of my type of cancer,” Wylie said. “The experience has given me a whole new appreciation for the importance of early cancer diagnosis.”

Since November, Wylie has undergone brain surgery, two types of chemotherapy, and radiation. She will have a stem cell transplant later this summer.

(Here’s a link to her column, “More fun with the girls,” from this week’s Leader:

Leader publisher John Wylie won the annual sweepstakes award in the editorial category eight times, in 2008, 2007, 2005, 1997, 1996, 1989, 1988 and 1987.

The late Leader columnist James R. May won the column sweepstakes in 1991 and 1988.

The Leader has been named the best weekly newspaper of its size (the Sequoyah Award) 16 times in the past 29 years by the Oklahoma Press Association in the Better Newspaper Contest.

The newspaper did not enter the Better NewspaperContest for 2013 because of Faith Wylie’s cancer battle.

Category: News

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