By TONYA CARROLL
MISS CHEROKEE 2010
Siyo, since you last heard from me I have been very busy fulfilling my duties as your Miss Cherokee 2010.
On Tuesday April 12, I had the opportunity to visit the Fourth Grade class at Swain East Elementary School. Little Miss Cherokee Ailyah Bigmeat was able to assist me in demonstrating several Cherokee social dances and answering questions about Cherokee culture.
Also, in April I was able to attend the opening of the Great Smoky Mountains Park Visitor’s Center on Friday, April 15. The same evening I gave a presentation on Cherokee culture for the Mission to the World group leaders. This group is a mission agency of the Presbyterian Church in America and they have helped in Cherokee for 20 years.
During the Week of the Young Child I was invited to help the Cherokee Dental Clinic handout free toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and information on maintaining healthy teeth and gums on Thursday, May 5.
On May 6, I was able to volunteer at the regional Special Olympics competition held in Cherokee this year. The event was really special for the participants and I had a great time meeting and getting my picture taken with some of them.
As Miss Cherokee I was able to participate in the Annual Mother’s Day 5K Run/Walk sponsored by Cherokee Choices on Saturday May 7. This year, I helped organize a silent auction to raise money for the Seven Clans Dialysis Center. I want to thank the staff at Cherokee Choices, Sam Otter, and all the volunteers and participants for making the event a huge success.
On Monday May 9, I went to the Cherokee Elementary School to encourage the fourth and fifth grade classrooms to do their best on their End of Grade tests. Junior Miss Cherokee Kaley Locust showed me around the school and did a wonderful job sharing tips for testing that her teacher taught her class.
The Annual Visitor Appreciation Day was held on Saturday May 14. I was given the opportunity to welcome all of the visitors to Cherokee and then Little Miss Cherokee Ailyah Bigmeat, Junior Miss Cherokee Kaley Locust, Teen Miss Cherokee Andrea Cedillo, and I got some volunteers from the crowd and performed the Quail Dance. Afterward, I stayed to look at the vendor booths, have my picture taken with guests, and enjoyed delicious traditional foods made by NAIWA. I want to thank the Travel and Tourism staff for working so hard to have such a great event for our visitors.
One of the best experiences I have had was when I was able to attend the Annual Cherokee Jeopardy competition at Robbinsville High School on Tuesday May 17. All of the questions asked were about Cherokee history and culture. Principal Chief Michell Hicks was there to ask the questions.
While in Robbinsville I was able to visit the Junaluska Museum and give a presentation of several Cherokee social dances to some 5th grade students from Robbinsville Elementary. I want to thank Brenda Norville, Marcia Hollifield, and Bret Jones for helping during my visit. I also want to congratulate all of the participants in the Jeopardy competition.
On Friday May 20, I participated in the signing of a contract between our tribe and Harrah’s to extend Harrah’s management of our Casino for seven more years at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. As part of the agreement Harrah’s will purchase an MRI machine for Cherokee Indian Hospital and maintain it for seven years. I want to thank everyone who worked hard to put this event together. It was a great experience for me.
My last event for May 2011 was to attend the Annual Fading Voices in Snowbird, North Carolina. This is my third year in a row attending the event and it gets better every year. I want to thank everyone who participates and visits this event every year. It is always an honor to get to visit our tribal members in the Snowbird Community.
I just returned from a trip to Colonial Williamsburg. I went to participate in the Camp of the Cherokee on Saturday and Sunday June 4 and 5. I was able to participate in some of our social dances with the Warriors of AniKituhwa and other Cherokee Royalty It was a wonderful experience and
I am honored to have been a part of it. I want to thank everyone who attended the event from Cherokee and everyone who worked hard to see the event was successful.
October will be here before we know it so I want to encourage all eligible ladies to start thinking about the Miss Cherokee pageant. This has been a remarkable experience for me and I hope to see more of our young ladies in the pageant this year.
I want to thank everyone who has helped me fulfill my duties as Miss Cherokee 2010. My friends and family have been a great support. Also, I’d like to thank the Royalty Board and their families for volunteering their time. Finally, I want to thank my supervisor and co-workers at Qualla Arts and Crafts for allowing me time off to attend the events.