, Muskogee, OK

September 7, 2013

Teen crowned Miss Keetowah Cherokee

— TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah native Jessica Bluebird, 18, was crowned the 2013-14 Miss Keetoowah Cherokee at the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma’s goodwill ambassador pageant on Aug. 22. Lauren Grayson, 13, also of Tahlequah was crowned the 2013-14 Junior Miss Keetoowah Cherokee.

The 10th annual pageant was the kick-off event for the 63rd Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration. The official date for this year’s celebration is Sept. 13-14. The theme for this year’s event is “Weaving the past into our Future.”

Bluebird is the daughter of Ronnita and Dennis Bluebird of Tahlequah. She is a freshman at  Neosho County Community. She graduated Sequoyah High School in May. Bluebird, who is a pitcher in fastpitch softball, received a softball scholarship.

The other contestant in the Miss Keetoowah Cherokee Pageant, Ashlea Mounce, is 18 and from Tahlequah.

She is the daughter of Shelia Bluebird of Tahlequah. Ashlea graduated from Sequoyah High School in May and attends Connors State College.

Mounce, who had knee surgery the day before the pageant, dropped out in the middle of the pageant becaues of excruciating pain, according to a media release. Mounce promised to be back next year to participate again.

“We commend her for her heart and for her effort,” pageant director Georgia Dick said in the release.

Jessica Bluebird presented her platform on physical therapy. Her talent was a presentation on the “Art of Pitching.”

Along with the handcrafted copper crown she will wear during her reign as Miss Keetoowah Cherokee, the UKB also awarded her with a $2,000 scholarship, a plaque with a photo inset, a dozen roses, a royalty sash with her name on it, and a woven purse basket made by Keetoowah member Betty Frogg.

Four contestants competed for the 2013-14 Junior Miss Keetoowah Cherokee title.

Third runner-up was Alexandra Scott, second runner-up was Erika Fourkiller, first runner-up was Adelia Brown, and Lauren Grayson won the title.

Scott, 13, from Tahlequah, is the daughter of Sherry Mouse. Alexandra attends Eufaula Middle School where she is in the seventh grade. The title of her essay was, “Weaving the Past into our Future.” In the talent portion of the program, Scott demonstrated how to make fry bread.

Fourkiller, 14, from Sallisaw, is the daughter of Rinda and Levi Catron of Sallisaw and Woodrow Fourkiller of Stilwell. She is in the ninth grade at Stilwell High School. Fourkiller’s essay was on her “Grandma Geneva,” and her talent was demonstrating quilt making.

Brown, 13, from Tahlequah, is the daughter of Kimberly Jumper Brown.

Brown attends Tahlequah Middle School and is in the eighth grade. Her essay was entitled “The Strength of the Fabric,” and she performed a contemporary dance.

The new Junior Miss Keetoowah Cherokee 2013-14 Lauren Grayson is the daughter of Noel and Carrie Grayson of Tahlequah. She attends Sequoyah Charter School and is in the eighth grade. Grayson’s essay was “My Family’s Tradition,” and her talent was demonstrating tanning a deer hide.

As winner of the Junior Miss Keetoowah Cherokee title, Grayson was awarded a plaque with a picture insert; a bouquet of roses, a $300 scholarship, a royalty sash with her name and a woven purse basket made by Keetoowah member Betty Frogg. She wears the Junior Miss Keetoowah crown throughout her reign.

The young ladies will be introduced to the community on Sept. 14 at the Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration and later that afternoon following the chief’s state of the nation address.