By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: May 2016
Join the Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club at their annual Old Fashion Picnic featuring a hog fry, traditional Cherokee games and dancing.
Founded in 1899, the Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club is continuing one of their most cherished traditions. The group was originally formed as a club focused on creating social activities for local females to get together while they were on summer break from seminary. Men and women both were invited to these gatherings, and Will Rogers was even a member of the club. The group has historical writings documenting the many picnics and other social activities they hosted. Though decades have passed, the initial premise remains the same: bring people together in an atmosphere of food, fun and family, and raise awareness of the traditions enjoyed by the Cherokee people.
The Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club will be hosting an their annual Old Fashion Picnic at Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch, located on the shores of Lake Oologah, one mile north of Oologah and two miles east of Highway 169 at 9501 E. 380 Rd.
The picnic is set for Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This will be the tenth year they have held the event at the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch. The 2016 club officers are Debra West, president; Susan Gilliland, vice president; Teri Hill, secretary; and Cathie Porterfield, treasurer. They are excited to invite everyone to join them for a day filled with “traditional hog fry” food cooked over an open fire in black kettles, live music, storytelling and traditional Cherokee games including stickball, Cherokee marbles and cornstalk shoot. A hog fry typically consists of cubes of hog meat cooked in its own juices, beans, fried potato wedges, fry bread, and shortcake or cobblers. “No one will leave here hungry,” says Debra West. “We can guarantee that!” Members of the club will be wearing traditional Cherokee dresses.
Cost for the picnic is a suggested donation of $10. The club’s distinguished Honorary Members, and the Secretary of State of the Cherokee Nation, Chuck Hoskin, Jr., will be honored guests at the picnic. Proceeds will benefit the Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club Higher Education Scholarship Fund, and the picnic is sponsored by Cherokee Nation Businesses.
Graduating seniors from all surrounding schools are encouraged to apply for one of the ten $600 scholarships they offer on a yearly basis. Debra is proud of the work that they do encouraging young women to follow their dream of education. “We offer these scholarships each year to local students, and we are one of the few that gives the money directly to the student, not to the college,” she explains. “This allows them to use the money for transportation costs or books or whatever their need is.” Scholarship applications are considered on a first come, first served basis for full-time students.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.
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