OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – The Okmulgee Indian Community Center opened the newly constructed facility with a ribbon cutting ceremony on December 17.
The new building is located just north of the old building at 2710 N Miami Ave in Okmulgee.
OIC Chairperson Virginia Thomas expressed her excitement over and over, giving credit and praise to the board members.
“I feel so privileged to work with these people,” Thomas said. “It was really a team effort.”
Treasurer Missy Sanders claimed the old building was falling apart.
“We had our last meeting (in the building) with no heat,” Sanders said.
She stated there are plans in place to build a playground behind the building.
“As long as I have been attending the meetings over the years with my mom, we have never had a playground,” Sanders said. “We have big plans here.”
Principal Chief David Hill said he was serving on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council at the time the legislation for the OIC Center was introduced.
“We supported it,” Hill said. “We support all community centers that want to grow and prosper. We are very proud of this community center and it’s going to do nothing but grow.”
Second Chief Del Beaver was also on Council at the time of introduction as an Okmulgee District Representative.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Beaver said. “The community deserves this building. They truly care about their community.”
The board commended Representative James Jennings for being the original supporter of the legislation.
“I know that some have gone on that put in the request for a new building,” Jennings said. “As Second Chief Beaver said, ‘it’s been a long time coming.’”
Thomas and the OIC Board presented Rep. Jennings with a plaque from the community that read:
“In recognition of Muscogee (Creek) Council Representative James Jennings for your many years of service to the Okmulgee Community Indian Center, Mvto. We appreciate you.”
Jennings stated it had been an honor to serve the Okmulgee community.
“James was a very active part of this,” Thomas said. “He’s always been active in our community, he lives in our community, he’s always there.”
Thomas asked Jennings to cut the ribbon, which he accepted.
The event was catered by The Charcuterie Divas.