By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
One Feather Staff
According to officials at the Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority (CIHA), the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians conducts a Tribal Health Needs Assessment every three years. Officials noted that based on the recent assessment, “We developed the Play Well, Eat Well, Stay Well Health Initiative, which acknowledges the local population’s health care habits and nutritional and physical activity needs – specifically delivering nutritional and physical education and interventions beyond the clinical setting.”
The first Play Well, Eat Well, Stay Well event is planned for Tuesday, Oct. 5 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (or until all bags are gone) and will be a drive-thru swag bag giveaway and raffle at 688 Drama Road (Mountainside Theatre area drive-thru) in Cherokee.
Jimmy Burns, Tribal Option Provider Network manager, commented, “When we first heard the Fair was cancelled again this year, we were so sad for the kids in the community. We thought it was the right decision based on the continued prevalence of COVID-19 in our community. We decided to do something fun for the kids as they have been through so much with all the changes in their everyday lives due to this pandemic.”
So, the idea of the swag bag drive-thru giveaway was born. CIHA officials say the bags will contain jump ropes, mini footballs, water bottles, and more. A raffle will also be held, sponsored by the EBCI Tribal Option, with the grand prize winners being able to choose between a basketball goal and ball or a new bicycle and helmet.
“The primary goal is to promote healthy eating and physical activity, and we want to be able to stay connected with the community,” said Gwynne Wildcatt, Tribal Option Member Services manager. “We are partnering with multiple organizations across the Boundary, including the Chief and Vice Chief’s Office. Everyone we talked to were more than happy to donate either goods or their time to be able to pull this event off in such short notice. We hope these goodie bags will help replace some of the excitement the kids would have had running around playing at the Fair.”
The giveaway is open to all community members under the age of 18.
Partners for this event include: EBCI Tribal Option, CIHA, EBCI Public Health and Human Services, Harrah’s Cherokee, EBCI Office of the Principal Chief, EBCI Office of the Vice Chief, Cherokee Choices, Cherokee Central Schools, N.C. Medicaid Enrollment Broker, EBCI Emergency Management, Cherokee Historical Association, The Sequoyah Fund, Cherokee Youth Center, and Resources Corporation of America.