(L to R) Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Boys & Girls Club of Tahlequah representatives Dennis Kelley and Dr. Robert Webb, Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Tribal Councilor David Walkingstick, and Tribal Council Speaker Tina Glory-Jordan. Other Boys & Girls Clubs received checks.
Nearly $1.9 million donated by tribe since 2008
TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA — The Cherokee Nation donated $195,000 Monday to eight area Boys & Girls Clubs in northeastern Oklahoma, many whom serve Cherokee and Native American students in their after-school programs.
The Cherokee Nation gave checks Monday to clubs in the following Oklahoma counties: Adair, Sequoyah, Cherokee, Mayes, Nowata, Rogers, Delaware and Washington.
Currently, the programs serve about 11,000 students.
“We’re proud the Cherokee Nation has been able to annually support the local Boys and Girls Clubs within our tribal boundaries,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “These young men and women represent the future of our communities and our tribe. We want to ensure they have the tools, mentors and programs to succeed in school and in life. Cherokee youth deserve every opportunity to flourish and grow into their full potential, and the Boys and Girls Clubs play a critical role in that process.”
The tribe has contributed nearly $1.9 million total to help the after-school programs continue character and leadership development among both Cherokee youth and non-Native students since 2008.
“Part of the donation will likely go to our new facility being built behind the elementary school in Jay,” said Jay Cranke, board president of the Delaware County Boys & Girls Club. “We’re always appreciative of the Cherokee Nation. We couldn’t do what we do without the tribe’s support.”
With the largest enrollment in the state and 67 percent being Native, the Boys & Girls Club of Tahlequah depends heavily on Cherokee Nation funding to maintain operations at the club’s 13 facilities in Cherokee County.
“The funding we receive from the tribe is a dire need for us to continue operating at the capacity we do for our kids in Cherokee County,” said Tahlequah Boys & Girls Club CEO Dennis Kelley. “It allows us to serve more kids and offer more direct services, like sports scholarships and continued programming.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America serves more than four million young people throughout the country and on military bases worldwide.