Published June 14, 2016
TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA –The Cherokee Nation recently honored 30 community organizations formed and run by Cherokee Nation citizens who do outstanding volunteer work, promote the culture and make other significant contributions.
About 500 organization members attended the tribe’s Community Impact Awards banquet held at Northeastern State University on June 3.
Most of the organizations honored are located within the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction and range from organizations that run shelters to those building playgrounds in their neighborhood.
“These Cherokee Nation citizens deserve our praise for doing extremely important work to improve the lives of others in their cities and communities,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “That work includes mentoring Cherokee youth with their homework after school to running nutrition centers as volunteers for our elders, which is why it’s fitting that we honor these groups each year.”
Breanna Potter, 21, a Cherokee Nation citizen from Sallisaw started the Brushy Youth Dream Team after she noticed there were not many places for teens to hang out in the small community of Brushy.
The Cherokee Nation honored her with the Community Inspiration Award.
“We’ve had two youth lock-ins with about 50 students and we train on leadership, healthy lifestyles and teambuilding,” she said. “It’s providing them a place to go that is positive.”
The teens also go through leadership training and work on a community service project together.
The Spavinaw Community Building Board Inc., of Mayes County, was honored with the Elder Care Award.
Three days a week they cook meals for about 60 seniors and hold sessions on elder care, blood pressure checks, signs of dementia and other vital topics. They also deliver food to seniors who are homebound.
“We have to check on our elders to make sure they are okay in our community,” said board member Susan Winn. “It’s important these elders see someone or have someone to talk to, since in many cases most are in a one-resident home.”
Winn said she was honored by the Cherokee Nation’s recognition.
“I was almost in tears, I was so proud,” Winn said. “It’s the first award for us and a milestone.”
The following organizations were honored by the Cherokee Nation with the following Community Impact Award:
- Newcomer of the Year Award – P.O.T.L.U.C.K. Society, of Claremore
- Mary Mead Volunteerism Award – Brushy Cherokee Action Association, Sequoyah County
- Most Improved Award – C.C. Camp Community Organization of Adair County
- Best in Technology Award – Tahlequah Men’s Shelter & Cherokees of Orange County, California
- Continuing Education Award – #4Hope, Inc. of Locust Grove
- Elder Care Award – Spavinaw Community Building Board, Inc. of Mayes County & Colorado Cherokee Circle of Denver
- Evaluations and Outcomes Measurements Award – Encore Performing Society of Tahlequah
- Best In Reporting Award – Stilwell Public Library Friends Society of Adair County & Cherokee Community of Central California
- Technical Assistance Award – Tri-Community W.E.B. Association in Briggs
- Grant Writer of the Year Award – Cherokee Elders Council of Locust Grove
- Strong Hands Award – Orchard Road Community Outreach of Stilwell
- Cultural Perpetuation Award – Cherokee National Treasures Association & Valley of the Sun Cherokees of Phoenix
- Historical Preservation Award – Adair County Historical & Genealogical Association & San Diego Cherokee Community
- Lifetime Achievement Award – George and Linda Miller of Webbers Falls
- Community Partnership Award – Cherokees for Black Indian History Preservation in Tahlequah & Capital City Cherokees of Washington, D.C.
- Outstanding Communication Award Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club of Claremore & Cherokee Community of North Texas of Dallas
- Above and Beyond Award – Neighborhood Association of Chewey, Adair County
- Youth Participation Award – Encore! Performing Society of Tahlequah & Kansas City Cherokee Community
- Mission Accomplished Award – Native American Association of Ketchum
- Community Inspiration Award – Breanna Potter of Sequoyah County, & Posthumously Roger Vann of Adair County
- Organization of the Year Award – Neighborhood Association of Chewey in Adair County & Mt. Hood Cherokees of Eugene, Oregon
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