Haley Bell, an Amarillo native and proud Amarillo High Sandie and West Texas A&M University Buff, is a professional fundraiser by day and hobbyist writer by night. Haley serves on the boards of Association of Fundraising Professionals and Elevate Amarillo, and is long-time committee member for 24 Hours in the Canyon. Haley and her family are active in their church, First Baptist Amarillo, where she serves on the Missions Committee.
Haley and her husband, Justin, spend much of their time outdoors doing all that comes with raising three boys: youth sports, biking, fort-building, Nerf wars, and camping. She’s a shameless fan of Harry Potter, President Truman, and jazz music.
I was born and raised on the JA ranch in 1935 to Tom and Eleanor Blasingame. Dad had the Cherokee Camp there on the south side of the ranch. Then, we had no electricity, running water or indoor toilets. The water on all the river country was gyp and unfit to drink. We had a cistern that caught rainwater, and it was good to drink. I liked it better than this ol’ town water.
I was six years old when a bronc Dad had pawed me and broke my leg. They hauled me 45 miles on a mattress in the back of a pickup to Clarendon and then on to Groom to get a cast put on it.
I worked ever’ summer at wagon ‘til I graduated, then married Joyce Crutchfield, and then we worked on eight different ranches. We moved a lot and kept the U-Haul Company in business. The last ranch I was at, I worked there for 17 years ‘til it sold, and we then moved to Hereford where we retired. Joyce retired from the Gas Company after 17 years, and I retired from the City of Hereford after 18 years. In all, I worked on 15 different ranches.
Carolina at Accent West convinced me to write down all my stories. We published a book of 'em. It's on Amazon, if you're interested.
I grew up in Amarillo, Texas, graduated from Amarillo High School and attended Texas Tech University. Scooter Buck from Lubbock, Texas asked me to marry him and of course, I said yes. Our adventures began as we have moved to several states and cities for Scooter to do Youth Ministry around the country.
We now have three children, two of whom attend West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. I started writing the parenting column for Accent West in 1998 before the birth of my second child.
Scooter and I are currently fulfilling our dream of owning a farm, living on 10 acres of land outside of Houston, Texas. Besides the variety of animals that keep me busy on the farm, I am a professional event planner and freelance writer.
I still consider the Panhandle my home. We regularly visit to see our daughters and go to Palo Duro Canyon.
I was born in Amarillo and raised in Canyon where I graduated in 2010 before earning my English Language Arts Education BA from West Texas A&M in 2014. I then worked as a freelance artist before starting my master’s degree in 2015. During school, I continued work as an artist and began writing two books on the side. I eventually took some time off before resuming in 2019 to complete my MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. During my time off, I continued my writing, artwork and, most importantly, gave birth to an amazing little boy in 2018. I resumed my master’s summer 2019 and graduated May 2020 from West Texas A&M.
While completing the final semesters of graduate school, I worked as an intern at WTAMU Student Counseling Services, a substitute teacher for CISD, an office temp for a local attorney, and a photographer and journalist for Accent West. Needless to say, I was a very busy woman and none of it would have been possible without my incredible support system.
This same team is the only reason I am able to currently balance my life as a mom, a unit therapist at the Northwest Texas Hospital Pavilion, a writer for Accent West and a doctoral student at California Southern. Above all else, being a mom is my most important role and I will never be able to thank my son enough for being such a trooper through our busy lifestyle.
Becky McKinley of Amarillo is a cookbook author, owner of Dining by Design Catering Co. and food journalist for Accent West Magazine as well as a contributor to many online food websites and newspapers.
McKinley also server on the Governors Commission for Women. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, International Caterers Association and James Beard Foundation, and a board member of the Samaritan Counseling Center, Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health Advisory Board, and the Women’s Philanthropy Fund. She is also a past board member of the Baptist Saint Anthony Hospital Foundation, Polk Street United Methodist Church, KACV Public Television, Junior League of Amarillo, Amarillo Symphony Guild, Harrington Cancer Center, and City of Amarillo Traffic Commission. McKinley received a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University.
Shane Philipps, a product of Temecula, CA, enters his 7th season in professional baseball and 4th as the Director of Public Relations and Baseball Operations for the Amarillo Sod Poodles after previously working within the ranks of the Milwaukee Brewers, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Texas Rangers organizations. The public relations graduate from California State Polytechnic University-Pomona competed in baseball starting at the age of 4, and every year after through his four years of college as a left-handed pitcher, culminating at NCAA Division II Cal Poly Pomona. His passion for working in the baseball industry stemmed from his childhood of going to Minor League Baseball baseball games and wanting to give back that fun, family-friendly experience back to this community.