Bobbie Burbridge Lane is a social leader and philanthropist with more energy than many half her age. At 78, Lane is passionate about Oklahoma City, its people, animals and history. She is chairman of the board of The Burbridge Foundation, which was founded by her father, the late Robert Oscar Burbridge. Lane and the foundation have been directly affecting the lives and footprint of Oklahoma City for decades.
When asked what she hopes to see in Oklahoma City 20 years from now, Lane had some strong opinions, both for positive improvements and things she hopes change radically.
As a crusader for animal rights, she’s working to create a sanctuary for horses. She said this is especially important after the recent signing of a bill to allow horse slaughter plants in Oklahoma.
“The first thing I want above anything is a no-kill center for cats and dogs, and in addition, a huge amount of land with facilities, vets, food, medicine, etc., for horses and other animals, so as to never be threatened with horse slaughter in their lives again,” Lane said.
She hopes to see all unwanted and homeless animals sheltered and safe.
Additionally, she hopes to see prison time given to anyone caught abusing or killing animals — “not just a slap on the wrist and a fine, but a sufficient amount of years, that they will fear ever abusing and killing an animal.”
Lane said she wishes no more historic buildings and places, such as the park in front of the Civic Center, would be “torn down and replaced with things like that park is now — without a heart, cold, no history, plain and no warmth of 75-year-old trees and monuments.”
She wants to see the historic beauty of the city recognized and appreciated in the city’s infrastructural advances, rather than be knocked down and replaced with things that have no historical meaning to the city.
“The people put on committees or boards making these decisions should include people old enough to love and know the history of these things,” she said.
Advocating for seniors
She is a strong advocate of seniors, and she brings joy to more seniors every year with her Oklahoma Senior Follies, which this year will be June 14 and 15.
In addition, one of Lane’s daily focuses is to lift the spirits and vitality of Oklahoma’s senior population. To that end, she wants to see more stringent hiring practices at nursing homes and web cameras inside all areas at nursing homes.
On the lighter side, Lane hopes Oklahoma City carries out “plans to make us a friendlier city to those that live here and those that visit, making our city well known around the nation as the friendliest city in the U.S.”
She loves the trees and flowers everywhere on city property and how they bring joy to people and uplift their hearts and would love to see more public transportation options, such as a streetcar system, and more sidewalks everywhere in the city.