By Jacob Sturm
Karl Mengers made his way up to the stage deep inside the interior of The Venue, part of the Bridge Church setup as the host of the 2022 Chamber Banquet.
He had just been named the newest member of the Mustang Hall of Fame and was surprised to be the inductee.
Canadian County Commissioner, David Anderson, had taken the microphone in the minutes leading up to the announcement and had hinted in the buildup as to who the Mustang Hall of Fame had selected as its newest member.
“I just thought it was one of the other bankers or somebody in town until he said Rotarian,” Mengers said. “And I’m like, ‘well ok, I’m the only Rotarian there.’ And then he started to talk about my grandparents and my dad being a blacksmith. Then I knew it was me.”
Anderson also serves as the committee chair for the Mustang Hall of Fame.
The members of the Mustang Chamber of Commerce, who filled all the allotted seats at the event, did not stay seated for long. Mengers hadn’t made it more than a few strides from his seat when the audience as a whole gave a standing ovation for Mengers contributions to the Mustang Community.
The Hall of Fame honor is given to the people in the community who have contributed to the overall expansion and well being of Mustang. The group meets together and catches up on what is going on around town and also serves the purpose of voting in a new member to the esteemed club each year.
Mustang’s Hall of Fame has been around since 1982. Mustang Chamber of Commerce President, Renee Peerman, said she was happy for Mengers to be recognized.
“It is high time that this man was recognized and voted into the distinguished group of leaders,” Peerman said. “His contribution to our community has been enormous and I am happy this has come to pass.”
Members of the club nominate potential candidates and discuss what they want to have included in the announcement ahead of the Chamber Banquet.
This year, that meeting was held March 10, with Hall of Fame members getting back together after an extensive period of time between meetings due to COVID. There, members raised awareness of the nominations and voted on their top choice for the induction.
Mengers was impressed by the lack of information sneaking out to tip off the recipients of the awards, including the Hall of Fame selection.
“It’s hard to keep a secret in this town,” Mengers said. “Now, I pretty much know what’s going on most of the time, but this totally blindsided me.”
Mengers has been an advocate of Mustang, particularly in protecting the 12 square-miles of town throughout his life in Mustang. That currently involves promoting developments on the west side of town.
Mengers said when he served on the Planning Commission, he was adamant that the homes built in town need to have certain quality and not be low income homes.
On April 28, during the Chamber Banquet, Mengers learned of his selection as that newest member.
“It means the world,” Mengers said. “When I looked back at Wade Huckabay, I mean he was welled up and I thought he was going to cry and then it’d make me cry. Just being associated with some of the best people in town, it’s just an incredible feeling.”