By Scott McKie B.P.
One Feather staff
Ask anyone who knows him, and they’ll tell you that Rod Cooper has done a lot to help the Cherokee Community and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Rod, an EBCI tribal member and member of the Cherokee Indian Police Department, has fallen ill in the last several years and is unable to get out and about like he was accustomed.
An event this weekend geared for kids will be held in his honor. Instrumental in starting the event, Rod will be honored and recognized at the Safe Trick or Treat Night scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 31 at the old Cherokee High School track.
“Rod has been extremely instrumental in the development and implementation of the Safe Trick or Treat Night,” said Cherokee Chief of Police Ben Reed. “It’s just a great way to encourage local businesses and Tribal Programs to get involved in the event while keeping our kids safe.”
Reed went on to say, “There is a lot of planning and hard work that goes on behind the scenes in order for these events to be successful, and Rod has always been there to do it. These types of programs help close the gap between the kids in our community and the Cherokee Indian Police Department. Rod Cooper’s service to the EBCI is invaluable.”
Radonna Crowe, program manager of Healthy Cherokee, has taken up the reins of this year’s event. “This has been a tough year preparing for the event,” she said. “We have never planned or held the event without Rod and we have missed working with him. Rod has done a lot for the kids in the community; a lot of stuff that people just don’t realize. “
She continued, “Just like he was instrumental in organizing Trick or Treat Night, he was instrumental in getting DARE started in the school and organizing the DARE Toy Runs. He was always planning these big community events that would benefit kids. We all have had a great time working with him and have truly missed working with him.”
Crowe related that in Rod’s honor three of the Vendor Awards to be given out at this year’s Trick or Treat Night will be renamed for him. “We will also be setting up a donation table for him at the event. We wish him the best, and our thoughts and our prayers are with him!”