Oklahoma's Woman of the Year: Dawn Welch

BY LILLIE-BETH BRINKMAN Modified: December 31, 2009 at 11:02 am •  Published: December 31, 2009
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Th
e first group of "Cars” memorabilia had burned in the fire.

Welch inspired the Sally Carrera character — a blue Porsche — in that movie. Lasseter had visited the Rock Cafe during his trip along Route 66 that led to the movie.

Welch, a Yukon High School graduate, sailed around the world working on cruise ships before returning home to Oklahoma and landing in Stroud. Today, she has two children: Alexis Herr, 15, and Paul Welch, 8.

She tells people not to give up on how they want to live their lives.

"Dream big, and then work hard. Very hard,” Welch said.

"People are always waiting to do what they love versus just doing it or getting to it,” she said. "I have a lot of people who tell me all the time they’re going to do something in a year, or we’re going to do this. I had lost everything at the Rock Cafe, and a year and nine days later, I was able to put it back up.”


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Meet five remarkable women from Oklahoma. Whether they’re entertaining millions, serving their communities or sharing their knowledge, they’re using their gifts to inspire others. The Oklahoman’s Features Department narrowed finalists for the you! section’s Woman of the Year to five extraordinary women. A panel of staffers from The Oklahoman chose our winner, Dawn Welch, owner of the Rock Cafe in Stroud.

Each of these women had a standout year in 2009.

— Lillie-Beth Brinkman

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