Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Cherokee Children’s Mission Co-directors’ grandchildren Jaxon and Stella Ketcher, Cherokee Children’s Mission Co-directors Ray Ketcher and Nanette Ketcher, Tribal Council Secretary Frankie Hargis and Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation recently donated a surplus shuttle bus to the Cherokee Children’s Mission in Adair County to help the mission provide safe and reliable transportation for the children they serve.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Tribal Council Secretary Frankie Hargis met with the directors of the mission recently to present the keys to the handicap accessible shuttle bus.
“It is more important than ever for us to stand up and show our support for our children,” Baker said. “I am proud to take advantage of any opportunity that we have to put our resources to work for children across the 14 counties. In this case, we get to partner with an organization that we have seen working in the lives of Cherokee children for more than 30 years.”
The shuttle bus was donated from the Cherokee Nation Businesses fleet.
“I have a deep connection to the Cherokee Children's Mission with my family being from the area and my great uncle pastoring the church that is located on the property years ago,” Hargis said. “The lives this mission has touched are countless, and I am so happy that the tribe can provide a new resource to it so the mission can continue that positive legacy.”
Co-director of the Cherokee Children’s Mission Nanette Ketcher said that her father, the late Jim Varnell, would have never imagined a shuttle like this when he acquired the mission more than 30 years ago.
“We feel so thankful and blessed that Councilor Hargis saw a need and the Cherokee Nation provided for us beyond what we could even imagine,” Ketcher said. “We are thankful to carry on my parents’ dream of helping as many children in and around our community as possible.”
Ketcher’s family has operated the Cherokee Children’s Mission since 1987 as a safe place for children ages 2 to 16 to come to on Saturdays. The mission provides area children with indoor and outdoor activities, a chapel service, breakfast, lunch and a snack, as well as free transportation.
The nonprofit mission operates entirely from donations and on average will provide for anywhere from 40 to 70 Cherokee and non-Cherokee children each week. For more information, visit Cherokee Children’s Mission on Facebook or call 918-775-0307.
Cherokee Nation News Release
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