RCB Bank Ponca City Honors Writer Joyce Carol Thomas
published on 06/20/2010
The second annual Pioneer Woman Museum “Heart to Heart” Tea Party will be held on Saturday, July 3rd from 11 am to 1 pm at the Pioneer Woman Museum. The theme of the party is “Together, We See No Boundaries” and is being hosted by the Pioneer Woman Museum Advisory Board. Founding sponsors are RCB Bank, First National Bank of Oklahoma, Eastman National Bank, Ponca City News, Home National Bank, Cable One, Silvertop Farm & Vineyards, and Evans & Associates. Women and girls of all ages are invited to attend and wear tea party dress. Hats are optional, but strongly encouraged to add to the ambience of the event. Prizes will be given in several “hat” categories. Food and refreshments will be served. Admission for the event is $15, seating is limited, and tickets are available at the Pioneer Woman Museum. The event proceeds will be used for museum building repairs.
The Pioneer Woman Museum Woman of the Year award will be given during the event to Joyce Carol Thomas, Ponca City native and resident of Berkeley, California. Ms. Thomas is an African-American playwright, author and illustrator of more than 50 children’s books, winning numerous prestigious writing awards. The setting of some of her fictional works is in Ponca City. A graduate of Stanford University, Ms. Thomas is fluent in Spanish and French, and has traveled to Australia, China, Ecuador, Guam, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, and Nigeria. She has taught from grade school to the university level, including the University of Santa Cruz and Purdue University. Her last teaching appointment was as a full professor in the English Department at the University of Tennessee where she taught creative writing courses in poetry, drama, and fiction. Signed copies of her books will be available from Brace Books.
Mary Anne Potter, owner of Herban Renewal Farms and Pioneer Woman Museum Advisory Board Chairman, said that the event is being held to honor the special relationships in our lives, specifically those between sisters, friends, and mothers and daughters of all ages. “The motto of the Pioneer Woman Museum is “I See No Boundaries” and we really wanted to honor this same spirit with the relationships that help us overcome obstacles and enjoy our own pioneering journey through life. We also wanted to bring our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends to the museum to appreciate the journeys our pioneering ancestors have made and our living role models are making, such as Joyce Carol Thomas.” Herban Renewal Farms will be providing special herb tea bags for each participant. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to purchase the teapot centerpieces at each table and teacup planters provided by the Pioneer Woman Museum Advisory Board.
Pioneer Woman Museum Director Jean Winchester indicated that the museum has several projects that will need funding this year. “In particular, the museum building and roof needs major repairs, both of which are critical to the operation of the museum,” Winchester said.
Mary Steichen, Co-Owner of Silvertop Farm & Vineyards and Museum Board Member, encourages women and girls of all ages to attend. “We are working hard to make this a special event that women and girls of all ages will enjoy,” Steichen said. “We are making this an annual fundraising event to help maintain the Pioneer Woman Statue and Museum, one of the main symbols representing Ponca City, for many years.”