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Published on: May 13, 2015

Help the Scouts? That’s always a good choice

By PENNY FLETCHER

For several months, each monthly Native American celebration at RedHawk Ranch in Wimauma has held an auction of donated, mostly hand-made items, to help Ruskin Boy Scout Troop 661. The scouts have been going to the ranch regularly for the last five years, using the opportunity to be in such a beautiful natural setting to earn badges, learn about Native American culture, wildlife, native plants and more.

PENNY FLETCHER

PENNY FLETCHER

Regulars who attend the monthly gatherings and many of the people who shop at “The Native Way,” the store that is also located on the ranch, have donated books, jewelry, dream catchers and baskets. Some have also donated their services.

Brenda and Bud Hoshaw, better known to their friends and those who visit the ranch as Quahneah and Redfeather, say all Native American groups that hold Circles do auctions to pay for the upkeep of the land where the circle is held but donate most to a good cause.

Several months ago, Dr. David Zamikoff, who has a natural healing center in Bradenton, donated a free massage to one night’s lucky winner. But Zamikoff didn’t stop with the one donation. He set up a box in his office for donations by his clients.

The box was reported to have more than $200 in it when it was stolen from his waiting room. The box was clearly marked as a donation box for the Scouts.

It makes me wonder what kind of a person would be in a natural healing center and steal a donation box for Scouts. It wouldn’t surprise me nearly as much if donations were stolen from an agency waiting room, where desperate people apply for some type of aid to care for their families. But then, donation boxes aren’t placed in those offices; perhaps they should be!

There will be one last Native Circle, May 30, before the summer break which is caused, of course, by mosquitoes and extreme summer heat. It will begin about 5 p.m. with a potluck supper and then have stories told around a fire, Indian customs explained by Redfeather — who is an expert in Native American history — and old-time friendship open to anyone, not only those who claim American Indian blood.

If we are fortunate, Quahneah will read one or more of her original poems.

The Scouts and some of their supporters will be in attendance that night.

Coincidentally, the Circle where the free massage was raffled off was won by my fiancée, who, after recovering from numerous broken bones and two punctured lungs, had been wondering if a massage might be helpful for pain.

That same night, I won a book about Indian lore that thrilled me because my birth mother was a Cherokee shaman and I have been very curious about her practices for years.

I will be donating one of the books I’ve written: Where the Wild Rose Grows, fiction based on fact that is available on Amazon by typing in my name and the name of the book.

So if you’d like to help the Scouts, give Brenda and Bud a call and let them know you’d like to attend and what you might be able to donate to the raffle, or simply show up to partake of the food and friendship. A potluck dish is always appreciated but not required.

I happen to think Scouting is a great cause to support. As a reporter and parent, I know there are many paths a youth or teen can take that will lead them down the wrong road in later life.

Scouting, on the other hand, sets the stage for a lifetime of learning to make good choices, as well as survival techniques that have saved many lives.

Hope to see you there!

To find out more about RedHawk Ranch, visit www.redhawkranch.com or contact them at Redhawkacres@aol.com.

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