By TAYLOR WILNOTY
MISS CHEROKEE 2014
Siyo nigada! Hello everyone! I hope that you all have enjoyed the beautiful and warm weather and are excited to be welcoming springtime to the beautiful Smoky Mountains! I hope that you all had an amazing time celebrating Easter with your loved ones!
I have had a very busy month representing the Eastern Band as your 2104 Miss Cherokee and being your proud ambassador once again in Washington, DC. This trip meant so much to me because I had the honor of representing our beautiful people, the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation during the 2nd Annual Cherokee Days at the National Museum of the American Indian, where the Eastern Band, the Cherokee Nation, and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians all came together for this historic event to celebrate our culture, language, crafts and traditions. I was so humbled and grateful to be there, and to be with all of my united Cherokee people educating people about our Tribe, our traditions, arts and crafts, dances and our unique culture to the thousands of people that came through for the event.
Although, that wasn’t the only amazing event I got to attend that weekend in DC. As you all know, my platform for Miss Cherokee was Epilepsy Awareness and I am proud to say that I am an advocate for the seizure disorder, which is also known as epilepsy. While in Washington, on Saturday, April 11, I, along with my family, took part in the 9th Annual National Walk for Epilepsy which was held at the beautiful Washington Monument grounds. To say that I was humbled to be able to be apart of this huge event is an understatement! The Epilepsy Foundation of America is the largest organization created to help those that suffer or have a loved one that suffers with epilepsy. I am proud to say that this event was able to raise over $950,000 which will go towards research for medicines and with the grace of the Creator, a cure. Just being at this event gave me such hope, and I witnessed first-hand how many people in America this disorder affects. I want to extend my thanks to all those that helped raise money to attend this walk, and to my community members, council members and Vice Chief Larry Blythe who donated to our very own Cherokee Epilepsy Awareness group to help get us to this walk and to help donate on behalf of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation!
I would also like to thank all of the students, staff and community members that took interest in my booth at the Cherokee High School, those who bought cupcakes, asked questions, received information and, most of all, wore purple on Purple Day, March 26, to show their support. I received so many pictures from people wearing purple and showing their support on something so important to so many. I hope that next year it will be even bigger and more people will show their support for this very important cause. It is my goal to take a bigger group from our community for the walk next year. Meningitis and encephalitis carried by mosquitos are two of the main causes of epilepsy. Please remember that when the weather gets warmer, protect yourself and your loved ones by using insect repellant and keep this illness from affecting as many of our people as possible.
As always, thank you for your continued support, love, prayers and good wishes. It is truly an honor to represent the people that I love, admire and am so very proud of. May the Creator bless our people and continue to allow great things to happen for our Tribe.
For more information please visit www.epilepsy.com or visit our very own Facebook page called “Cherokee Epilepsy Awareness” and find out how you can get involved with local fundraisers and learn more about Epilepsy!
If you would like for me to attend an event please contact Tooter Owens with your request.
Sgi, thank you!