Cherokee Casino employee advocates for Tulsans in need

January 29, 2018

Cherokee Casino employee receives award for volunteerism from YMCA of Greater Tulsa. Cherokee Casino employee receives award for volunteerism from YMCA of Greater Tulsa.

YMCA awards Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs employee for service

WEST SILOAM, Okla. – Tulsa resident Elizabeth “Beth” West manages an hour and a half commute to Cherokee Casino West Siloam Springs each workday but still makes time to give back to her community. The YMCA of Greater Tulsa recently awarded West with an award for her dedication to the organization.

“I started off as a contributor but quickly realized that I wanted to do more to help children and families in my community,” said West, food and beverage manager level 5 at Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs and Cherokee Nation citizen. “The Y helps people in the community in so many different aspects, from early education and after school programs to families affected by cancer.”

West is originally from Colcord, where she graduated high school. She received a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University in 2008. She then started her career at Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs, accepting positions at various Cherokee Casinos through the years, including Cherokee Casino Ramona, Cherokee Casino South Coffeyville and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

“Beth has been an asset to our department since returning to the property in 2015,” said Don McClellan, property director of food and beverage at Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs. “She explains to newly hired employees that she started here in 2008, and that if they want additional responsibilities and to be able to be promoted, the opportunities are available. It has been a pleasure working with Beth and watching her navigate her career path. We are very proud of her dedicated work in the community.”

West began supporting the YMCA of Greater Tulsa as a donor but quickly grew into the role of campaigner by helping to raise awareness of the organization’s cause and by finding those willing to help support. West was honored as the 2017 Goal Buster Campaigner of the Year for the YMCA Community Services Campaign.

The annual campaign unites volunteers, donors and participants to build upon the strengths of each individual in our community. Financial assistance is made available from the annual support campaign to any individual or family who wants to participate in YMCA programs or activities but may not be able to afford the fee.

“As we move into our 2018 campaign season, we are thankful to have Beth’s big heart and passion for change. Our community services goal this year is $15,000, and we are confident the funds will be raised to ensure programs continue to be available to those who need them most,” said Emma Sikich, senior director for community initiatives at YMCA of Greater Tulsa.

The campaign is currently at 41 percent of its goal for 2018.

“Beth is a great example of someone who works hard, plays hard, but gives more. She is a key player in ensuring the YMCA’s Community Services campaign is a success,” said Sikich.

The staff at YMCA of Greater Tulsa are passionate about making a difference in their communities and bettering the lives of the people around them, and that has inspired West and the other 16 campaigners to do more.

“I feel it’s my responsibility to ensure that others are afforded chances and opportunities to do more, to grow and learn, to be everything they hope,” said West. “Strength of character comes from helping people succeed, not in holding anyone down.”

For more information about YMCA of Greater Tulsa or to donate, visit www.ymcatulsa.org.

Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs is located off U.S. Highway 412 and State Highway 59 in West Siloam Springs. For more information, visit www.cherokeecasino.com or call (800) 754-4111. All guests must be at least 21 years of age to attend.