(L to R) Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Mike Shambaugh, Thomas Henson, Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr., Kaitlin Schaller, SYNC Co-director Rusty Henson, SYNC Co-director Rhonda Henson, Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Harley Buzzard and wife Cynthia Buzzard, Cherokee National Treasure Tommy Wildcat and George Cummings.
TAHLEQUAH, OKLA. – Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. recently joined Tribal Council members Harley Buzzard and Mike Shambaugh for a visit to Delaware County, where the tribe made donations totaling $13,000 to three Delaware and Mayes county groups.
All donations were made from the tribe’s special projects funds and included a $3,000 donation to Jay Public Schools, a $5,000 donation to the Spavinaw Youth and Neighborhood Center, and a $5,000 donation to the Delaware County Historical Society.
“The contributions we were able to make are a testament to the great work that our Tribal Councilors from that area, Harley Buzzard and Mike Shambaugh, do for their communities,” Hoskin said. “It is always great to be a part of positive change in a community, and I believe these donations will each go a long way for Delaware and Mayes counties.”
The Spavinaw Youth and Neighborhood Center received $5,000 from the tribe to help with funding. On average, the nonprofit center will provide snacks and educational resources for more than 90 Cherokee and non-Cherokee children in the Spavinaw area.
“We are so thankful that the Cherokee Nation is always backing us and helping us finish our youth center for the Spavinaw kids,” SYNC Director Rhonda Henson said. “This funding will help us with everything from providing an after-school snack for our children to giving them a nearby place to learn.”
Jay Public School received a $3,000 donation that will help fund the school’s community-based mentor program, Bright Futures. Jay Public School Superintendent Kenny Bridges was on hand to accept the donation and express his thanks to the tribe.
“We are so appreciative for the continued and unwavering support of the Cherokee Nation for our schools in northeast Oklahoma,” Bridges said.
The $5,000 donation made to the Delaware County Historical Society was a continued partnership from the tribe to help grow the local Mariee Wallace Museum and make it even more accessible for visitors. The museum was opened in 1991 and houses a variety of Jay-area and Cherokee historical artifacts.
“The Cherokee Nation has been a great partner and has helped us finish up several projects, including a handicap accessible bathroom, finishing up some electrical projects and even the addition of some new walls that will help expand our displays,” said Becki Farley, chair of the Delaware County Historical Society board of directors.
A special feature of the museum is a permanent Cherokee Nation seal that was donated by district 10 Tribal Council member Harley Buzzard.
“The Mariee Wallace Museum is such a great place to come and learn about the history of the area and the Cherokee Nation,” Buzzard said. “The things that we are able to help with will make it much easier for the people in my district to come and learn about their town and their heritage, and I am proud to be a part of anything that helps the citizens of Jay and of the Cherokee Nation.”
Projects funded through the special projects fund are selected by Tribal Council and Principal Chief Bill John Baker’s office and allow the tribe to partner with communities and organizations on projects that benefit both Cherokee Nation citizens and non-Cherokees alike.
Cherokee Nation News Release
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