By TAYLOR WILNOTY
MISS CHEROKEE 2014
Siyo Nigada! First, I would like to thank the Creator for the wonderful opportunity he has blessed me with as your Miss Cherokee 2014. It was such an amazing adventure, and I look forward to spending time with you all during my reign.
I would like to thank the Pageant Board for this opportunity for our young women. Thank you to Deb West and Kristi Hyatt for working with us and making sure we hit our marks. I would also like to congratulate my fellow contestants, Amorie Gunter and Angel Squirrel. I enjoyed spending time with you both and getting to know you.
Elnora Thompson, Deb Bradley, Tooter Owens, Samantha Hernandez, Rosie Teesatuskie, and Marcia Hollifield – thank you for being here for me and having my back! I look forward to working with you through the upcoming year. You ladies (and husbands) did an excellent job with the stage the night of the pageant, and I truly appreciate all the hard work you did!
To my Mom and Dad – you are the best parents. Thank you for believing in me and pushing me to do my best. You have always believed in Dennie, Dawson, and myself, and loved us unconditionally. Without your love and strength, I would not be where I am today. Thank you for everything!
To Dennie and Dawson – I love you both so much, you’re my heart and soul. Dawson, you’re my best friend. I’m so thankful to have such an amazing little/big brother like you. Thank you for believing in me, and thank you for keeping me sane during the pageant. Dennie, I love you and miss you so much. You’re the reason for all that I do. I hope I’ve made you proud. Thank you for keeping me strong through this entire journey, and reminding me to always have faith.
Nannie and Papaw Taylor – I love you both so much! You are two of the biggest inspirations of my life. Thank you for believing in me. I can’t wait to walk the halls of Washington, and it encourages me to know that these were the halls you once walked, Papaw, to make life better for our people. Nannie, you are my strength. Not only are you the best Nannie in the world, but you raised and loved so many people here in Cherokee, providing for them as if they were your own.
Rosie, Dan, Connor and Tsini – I can’t begin to thank you for all that you have done. Rosie, you’re like a second mom to me. I couldn’t have done this without you. Thank you, Uncle Dan, for making my feather cape and being there to support me and wash my car (lol). To Connor and Tsini, I love you both. Thank you for reminding me of myself and Dawson! I know you both rooted for me from the beginning and that means the world to me.
Renissa McLaughlin – thank you for blessing me with your good looks (wink)! Your help was amazing! Thank you for everything, and your support meant so very much!
Vivica Dupree – my stylist and hair guru – you are the best at what you do. Thank you for helping me to stay calm and helping me look my best!
I would also like to thank Marina Graham, Bo Taylor, Fred Wilnoty, Evan Mathis, Richard Saunooke, Nancy and Johnny Ruth Maney, Faye McCoy, Madison Crowe, Bambi and Dike Sneed, and Sheena Brings Plenty for your talented work and artistic abilities to complete my ensemble. Jayce Watty, Kaniah, Jayce and Braylon James, Dawson Wilnoty, Jacob Smith, Jeffrey Girty & Grae Crowe – thanks for throwing all that candy at our Parade!
To my sponsors: Cherokee Boys Club, Talking Leaves Bookstore, Cherokee Grand Hotel, Sherry Taylor & Chris Southards, Tommye Saunooke, Bill Taylor, Charlotte Saunooke, Rosie & Dan McCoy, Nannie & Papaw Taylor – thank you for helping me achieve my dream with your generous donations.
To my Tribe – I want you to know that this is a dream come true for me! I will represent you all with love and devotion, and I will treat this duty with the utmost respect and dedication. If you would like for me to appear at an event, please contact Elnora Thompson with this request.
I will be submitting monthly reports to our paper, so I look forward to sharing my journey with you throughout the following year.