May 18, 2017
PRYOR, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation recently presented Pryor city officials a $10,000 check to help keep the city pool open.
When the idea of closing the pool for financial reasons was discussed, many in the community voiced their concern, including 10-year-old Cherokee Nation citizen Makalyn Smith, who wrote a letter to the city council asking that they find a way to keep it open.
With the community’s concerns heard, the city of Pryor sought out ways to keep the pool operational, including finding community partners, like the Cherokee Nation, and also hosting youth community work days in order to cut operational and maintenance costs for the city.
"The Pryor public pool has been the major form of summer recreation for families for decades," said Tribal Councilor Janees Taylor. "I spent my childhood in that pool and couldn't bear the thought of it closing. When 10-year-old Makalyn Smith, a Cherokee citizen, made a plea to the city council to keep it open, I was eager to help so Makalyn and other children could enjoy the pool this summer."
Pryor City Councilor Jill Sherman White commended the tribe for helping keep the pool open for Pryor youth.
“Cherokee Nation has taken on the responsibility to be the voice for all the children in Pryor, so that they can enjoy a healthy and fun summer,” White said.
The tribe donated the money from its special projects fund.
“The city of Pryor works diligently to provide safe and fun recreational summer activities for the young people of the community, including finding financially creative solutions to ensure the city pool is open and operating efficiently,” said Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “I commend Councilor Taylor for leading the tribe’s efforts to be a good partner in the community, so that Cherokee children and non-Cherokee children alike will be able to spend many fun hours at the pool this summer.”
Projects funded through the special projects fund are selected by Tribal Council and Principal Chief Bill John Baker’s office and allow the tribe to partner with communities and organizations on projects that benefit both Cherokee Nation citizens and non-Cherokees alike.