After pouring every ounce of energy into building a flourishing agritoursim business near Oklahoma's largest city, owner Glenn Orr and his family never counted on it all being shredded to pieces in just a few short minutes on a historically stormy day in May.
"But for the family, and for the employees and all for all of the people, we've got to rebuild," Orr
had concluded shortly after the reality of the storm damage set in.
Glenn's son Tom, 48, owns and operates the year-round farm with his
father and Tom's wife Debbie.
The Orr Family Farm has 10 full-time staff members and employs approximately 20 people part time.
Still busy in mid-July clearing debris from the 106 acres, Orr
jumped off his
Bobcat just long enough to reveal in an interview the operators of the business are diving headfirst into a reconstruction project they hope will lead to a grand reopening of the facility on Sept. 28, in time for what is typically a busy fall season.
The Orr Family Farm and Celestial Acres are two separate entities located on property that has been in the family since 1977.
Started in 2004, Orr Family Farm has featured a zip line, animal barn, giant jumping pillows, train rides, pony rides, pedal cars, carousel and other interactive experiences.
The farm also hosts weddings, group events and field trips throughout the year.
"In total we have about 15 buildings that are now stripped of metal that's been hauled off," Orr
"We've started to repair the basic structures on every one of them."
family opened the Orr Family Farm in 2004.
said six people were huddled in the offices of his
brick home before moving below ground when they heard hail begin to strike.
Five vehicles had just been placed in a large indoor arena.
"This has been pretty tough," an emotional Glenn Orr
said weeks after the storm first hit.
"We've had just wonderful support.
We've had hundreds of people help us with the cleanup.
To put a value on that it would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"It's very heartbreaking," Orr
"It was so touching what that school did that it still gets to me that people that far away would help us out like she
"There's no way we can not rebuild.
There's just been such an outpouring of love from the community as well as everywhere."
said farm operations considering getting into agritainment endeavors have to recognize the business for what it can often become - and that doesn't even include threats from Mother Nature.
"I would say it has to be a labor of love because it's not necessarily a money-making thing," he