"Mother's Day" (above) & "Reflection" (right) by Laurie Frost, Broken Arrow, OK
RONNIE & DEBORAH EARLY bought their Wild Birds Unlimited franchise in 2007, opening their Tulsa location at Kingspointe Shopping Center, 5960 South Yale Avenue in Tulsa, OK. When the previous owner was closing her store, Ronnie saw it as an opportunity to see his dream come true of owning his own business combined with that of their love of nature and especially birds.
Ronnie & Debra enjoyed working together at the store, doing Home and Garden Shows, and also giving talks at local events. They found great joy in helping bring people and nature together. In 2012 their daughter, Sarah Williamson, joined the team as store manager.
In 2013, Ronnie was diagnosed with skin cancer and two years later, in 2015, he lost his battle here on earth. Between Sarah and Deborah, Ronnie's dream is still alive and thriving. Both Deborah and Sarah still love feeding the birds and giving them a safe refuge in their backyards.
WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED, INC., the corporate office, has graciously donated the prize money for this contest. It is our pleasure to present THE RONNIE EARLY JUDGE'S CHOICE AWARD, and THE DEBRA EARLY PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD in honor of the Early's dedication to birding and our natural world.
Mr. Kelly Bostian, "Outdoors" feature writer, Tulsa World, Birder, Photographer
Mr. Steve Schroeder, Photographer, Media Consultant
Photographed by Ken Haught,
THE DEBORAH EARLY AWARD, PEOPLE'S CHOICE
Photographed by Devlon Gaylon, El Reno, OK
"Soaring Eagle" by Greg Silva, Owasso, OK
THE RONNIE EARLY AWARD, JUDGE'S CHOICE
Photographed by Richard Why, Glenpool, OK
"Bluebird Quartet" by Kelly Roberts, Jenks, OK
"Reflections" by Jerry Cooper, Wagoner, OK
Photographed by Greg Silva,