The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum has named Pat Summitt the Lifetime Achievement Award honoree and Broken Arrow native Kristin Chenoweth as The Annie Oakley Society Award honoree at the fourth annual luncheon and fundraiser on June 12 in the Sam Noble Special Events Center.
The society gathers to celebrate women who demonstrate leadership and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Great American West, according to a news release.
Summitt was the head coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteer basketball team and is now head coach emeritus. At the helm for 38 seasons, she is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history for men’s and women’s teams. Summitt is known for being forthright, well-respected, ethical and a winner who serves as a shining example in the sport of collegiate basketball. She was voted the 11th best coach of all-time by The Sporting News and was the only woman on the list.
On Aug. 22, 2011, Summitt raised the bar on courage as she bravely revealed the toughest opponent she will ever have to battle, early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.
Unable to be in attendance, she will be represented by Sherri Coale, current head coach of The University of Oklahoma Sooners women’s basketball team.
Chenoweth, an Emmy and Tony Award winner and Oklahoma Hall of Fame inductee, effortlessly transitions between stage, television, film and an accomplished singing career with the captivating grace that only she can project. Her New York Times best-selling book “A Little Bit Wicke,” told the story of her hard work and determination to succeed with the memorable quote “Life’s too short, I’m not!” In addition to these accomplishments, she formed a charity partnership with the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center Foundation. Its mission is to bring the world of visual and performing arts to her hometown.
Chenoweth will be represented by Jane Jayroe Gamble at the event.
“In harmony with Annie Oakley’s tradition of cherishing families and helping others, proceeds through membership in The Annie Oakley Society are combined to fund the renovation of the children’s area of the museum,” said Oklahoma’s former First Lady Cathy Keating in the release. “Future plans to support improvements in other areas of the museum will ensure its future as a place where families can learn and cherish the West, as well as honor Annie’s lifelong commitment to her family and education.”
The Annie Oakley Society, co-founded by Keating and Lynn Friess, has added a new dimension to the museum by honoring and raising awareness of outstanding women. The society has raised more than $2.5 million to date to be used for educational improvements.
Presenting sponsors for the event are Hobby Lobby and The Chickasaw Nation. Additional sponsors include Eventures Corporate Event Productions, Express Employment Professionals and Express Ranches, American Energy Partners, Petroleum Club, Oklahoma City University and New Leaf Floral.
Membership into The Annie Oakley Society includes seating at this luncheon, and nonmembers are invited to attend for $150 each. With multiple levels of membership starting at $250 annually, The Annie Oakley Society has a niche for all women, including a special category for those younger than 40.
For reservations or to inquire about membership into The Annie Oakley Society, call the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum at (405) 478-2250, Ext. 219 or go to www.nationalcowboymuseum.org.