Shopping for purses is a favorite pastime of many women.
Shopaholics had an opportunity to not only pick up several purses at bargain prices, but to donate to Help-In-Crisis during the agency’s annual “Purses for Prevention,” fundraiser Friday.
The proceeds are used for prevention programs, and the event is about raising awareness as much as fundraising.
“We’re raising awareness to not just keep people from drowning in the river of violence, but to keep them from getting in it,” said Jyme Lowe, prevention coordinator with Help-In-Crisis.
The event was originally organized by June Ludwig, of Junie’s Closet, about five years ago, Lowe said.
“It got too big for her shop, so it moved here,” Lowe said. “It’s one of our biggest fundraisers.”
As prevention coordinator, Lowe visits area schools and teaches students from pre-kindergarten to college age about healthy relationships.
“I have the best job,” Lowe said. “Although it’s really hard to measure prevention, I see cultural norm changes, such as teens identifying unhealthy situations in their friends’ and their own relationships, and having the courage to say something or get out of that relationship.”
Kori Bartholomew, family support worker with the Helping You Grow program, said HUG helps with parent child enrichment through home visitation for ages prenatal to 5 years old, to prevent child abuse.
“It’s a free, voluntary program sponsored by Help-In-Crisis,” Bartholomew said. “We help new parents learn how to take care of their babies, teach about child development, nutrition and parent child interaction.”
The rain held off for the outdoor sale, with most of the 300 purses finding new homes. Popular name brands such as Coach, Vera Bradley, Brighton, Dooney and Bourke, Fossil and Big Buddah were among the selections, along with many others.
Prices began at $3; most purses were $25 or less, and two were $50. There were also five purses, donated by a local boutique owner, used as silent auction items. Donations of purses came from individuals and five local businesses.
The businesses offered special promotions and discounts to customers who donated purses, then gave the purses they collected to the event.
Yvonne Deckard carried three purses, two purple and one black, besides her own purple Vera Bradley, which was a birthday gift.
“My daughter told me about this event; I came looking for Vera Bradley [purses],” Deckard said. “This is a great idea. With my birthday money, I donated a Vera Bradley at Meigs and got 20 percent off my purchase at Meigs. It’s my first year to participate, but I’ll definitely be back.”
Each year, the event gains new fans and brings back those who look forward to finding a new purse at a bargain.
The Vera Bradley purses are among the first to go.
The smiles and laughter among the shoppers was a clear indication they are having fun.
“I like being able to afford a Vera Bradley, and that the money goes to donations [to HIC],” Christie Hester said.
Two hipster purses hung from her shoulder, besides her own purse, and she shopped for others.
“I came down for a $20 Vera Bradley, and I have a $15 Vera Bradley and another purse for $3,” Hester said.
Mandi Halpain saw the event posted on Facebook.
“It’s my first time,” she said. “I’m just looking.”
She stopped by with friend Andrea Bigfeather, who supports the event.
“It’s a good way to bring people out and a good idea for a fundraiser,” Bigfeather said.
Andrea Cape had the event on her calendar since last week.
“I love the purses; I should have brought some [of my own] down [to donate]. I will next year,” Cape said. “People who don’t usually donate to charity will by a purse [as a form of donation].”
Jill Weeks wanted to support Help-In-Crisis, and brought friends from the Methodist Children’s Home.
“When we have events, the Help-In-Crisis volunteers help us and we want to shop and support them,” Weeks said.
“This is a very good way to get women out. A win-win [situation], the purses have been used and donated and they still have a lot of life left in them.”
Angela Armstrong was checking out purses with co-worker Weeks.
“Anytime I can see purses, I’m looking [to buy a new one],” Armstrong said. “If it’s helping out somebody, it’s good. Ladies love purses and it helps; that’s a good deal.”
Usually they sell out of purses, Lowe said.
“At the end of the day, if any purses are left, they become Mother’s Day presents for the women at the shelter,” Lowe said.
Approximately 300 bags found new homes during Purses for Prevention.
Shopping for purses is a favorite pastime of many women.
Conference attendees get words of encouragement
Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.
Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art
Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
“A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.
Dickerson believes in putting the student first
As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
“I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
“Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.
Cleaning things up
Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.
Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9
While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.
The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.
City council to discuss ‘green building’
Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.
Alcohol screening can be critical
It has been decades since Prohibition brought Americans gangsters, flappers and speakeasies, but statistics for alcohol addiction are staggering.
Millions of Americans suffer from alcohol addiction and abuse, which affects families and friends.
Today, April 10, is the annual National Alcohol Screening Day, and raising awareness through education, outreach and screening programs is the goal, according to the website at www.mentalhealthscreening.org.
Law enforcement agencies to get new facility
Area law enforcement agencies will soon have a new training facility in Cherokee County.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is building the new training room near its gun range, located north of the detention center. Sheriff Norman Fisher said tax dollars were not used for the building.
“This is something we’ve been trying to work on, and it was built with no money from the taxpayers,” said Fisher. “It was paid for with drug forfeitures and gun sales.”
Promise Hotels to build Holiday Inn Express prototype
Tulsa-based company Promise Hotels broke ground recently on the nation’s first new Holiday Inn Express & Suites prototype. The new 46,000 square foot, 80-room hotel will be in Tahlequah near the intersection of South Muskogee Avenue and the highway loop.
Construction will begin immediately with an anticipated completion date of February 2015. The $7.22 million hotel will feature a new contemporary look with an indoor pool, sauna, fitness center, and larger meeting room.
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