The Cherokee Preservation Foundation, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, and the Office of the Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians came together again this year to sponsor the 14th annual Day of Caring on Thursday, May 17. This daylong event reflects the spirit of Ga-Du-Gi, a traditional life way of helping the community practiced by the Cherokee people for centuries.
Some 283 volunteers, EBCI members and others in the community, came together to assist 10 families and individuals nominated by community clubs. Volunteers helped paint, repair, clean up landscapes and plant flowers. The Red Cross also participated in this year’s event, and disbursed teams to each project site to install fire alarms and to ensure existing alarms were working properly.
“It’s an awesome day,” said Deb Owle, Cherokee Preservation Foundation program operations manager. “I love it because it lets me give back to the community. This is what Ga-Du-Gi is all about, helping fellow neighbors.”
The 2018 projects included: Towstring – Oscar Bales, Big Cove – Bernice Bottchenbaugh, Yellowhill – Charlotte Ann Maney, Painttown – Melinda Owl, Big Y – Roland Crowe, Wolftown – Helen Arch, Birdtown – Jody Davis, 3,200 Acre Tract – Sanford “Ham” Huskey, Snowbird – Sally Jo Teesateskie, Cherokee County – Frank Herron. The day also included an overflow volunteer project where raised garden beds were constructed and were placed at each community club for community wide use.
The Cherokee Day of Caring Committee also honored ten “Quiet Heroes” who have served their communities unselfishly, and presented a “Good Neighbor” Award to a nontribal member who significantly helped members of the EBCI. The Quiet Heroes Awards went to: Towstring – Buddy Pilkington, Big Cove – Kristina Hyatt, Yellowhill – Carmaleta Monteith, Painttown – Lea Wolfe, Big Y – Reva Brown, Wolftown – Sadie Jackson (Memorial), Birdtown – Terri Taylor, Snowbird – Onita Bush, Cherokee County – Betty Hedrick. Lynn Lossiah was honored with Good Neighbor Award.
– Cherokee Preservation Foundation