Indian Times
11:47 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

The Holidays Are The Giving Season For The Oklahoma City Indian Clinic

The Oklahoma City Indian Clinic is raising money to expand its pharmacy. One of the fundraisers is the annual Red Feather Gala which took place November 9th. David Toahty (Pawnee/Kiowa) is the chief development officer for the clinic.

Credit Susan Shannon

“We had the largest group of people that we've ever had, nearly 500 people showed up. It was at the Cox Convention Center and it was a fun black tie event,” Toahty said. “We're raising money to expand our pharmacy.”

He said the space they have now for the pharmacy is an office with less than 900 square feet with 15 people working in it.

“Our pharmacy is operating out of a very small office that has less than 900 square feet and we have approximately 15 people working in that area,” Toahty said. “It makes it very, very difficult to move around, fill medicines and take care of our 18,000 patients.”

“We have blueprints for a pharmacy that we are going to build on the west side of the clinic. It’s going to be about a 7000 square foot facility and it’s going to have a drive-thru also,” Toahty said. “It’s going to take about $2 million dollars to complete this project.

“We're right in the middle of our capital campaign for that. All the money, all the proceeds that we receive from the Red Feather Gala and donations will go directly to build that pharmacy for our patients.”

Toahty said Native American Heritage month kicks off their holiday season, starting with the Red Feather Gala and next weeks annual Thanksgiving basket giveaway. This year the clinic is able to help about 90 families with a turkey and all the fixings.

The clinic accepts donations all year, but the majority of items in the Thanksgiving baskets come from the clinic staff. Another way the staff gives back to their patients is the Christmas toy and winter coat giveaways.

“We are always taking food, and toy donations and coat donations, anything that will help people,” Toahty said.

“We're located at 5208 W. Reno, which is kind of an annex. It’s our second location, right across and down the street from the clinic at 4913 W Reno. We were able to get another building which doubles our space,” Toahty said. “That's where a lot of our administrative offices are located, its where my office is located and we're able to take donations if people wish to drop off cash donations, toys, coats, food, anything like that.”

Toahty said the coats don’t have to be new, they can “gently used” but toys must be new and unwrapped.

“We would prefer the toys to be new, not only for the health reasons but we’d like for the kids to have a brand new toy for Christmas when they open them up.”

For the last seven years, recording artist Darryl Tonemah, plus other performers, have been putting on a benefit concert. The price of admission? A new unwrapped toy or article of clothing for child ages birth to 17 years old.

“Daryl has been helping us collect the toys and that's how we've been able to supplement the toys that we are able to give the children. We'll be able to help over 100 children this year.”

The 7th Annual Native American Benefit Concert will be held in Norman’s historic Santa Fe Depot on Friday, December 6th from 7 to 9pm. Also appearing will be Native Praise, hoop dancer Jay Mule, Terry Tsotigh and a live painting by Nicole Hatfield.

Interview with David Toahty

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