Kathleen O’Meara Marks was named recipient of the 2008 Red Earth Spirit Award during the annual Buffalo Bash held recently at the home of Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Kauger.More than 150 guests attended the event as Marks received the award for her substantial and lasting impact upon the organization. She joins an impressive list of individuals who have received the award including Barry Turner, Lorene Main, Woodrow M. Taylor, Troy and Annabelle Bowen, David G. Campbell, J. Louise Fent, Teri V. Stanek, Lela B. Sullivan, Jim Vallion, Doug Cummings and Ron Smithee.
Since 1995 the Red Earth Spirit Award has been presented in memory of past Red Earth board member Richard Fleischaker, one of the early supporters of the Red Earth Festival and Museum. Each year the award is presented to an individual who has consistently donated their time and talents to the continuing development of the organization.
Marks was recognized for more than 22 years of Board service to the organization. She is a founding member of Red Earth, Inc, an incorporator and the first corporate secretary of the organization
During her 12-year tenure as Director of the Oklahoma Travel and Tourism Division of the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department she had the opportunity to promote Red Earth to both national and international audiences as the premier Native American event in Oklahoma and the nation.
She has served numerous positions on the Red Earth Board and was President of the organization in 2005-2006. She was most recently chairman of the 2008 Red Earth Festival Parade committee.
Patron Sponsors of the Red Earth Buffalo Bash included Ken and Gerry Bonds, Beth and Steve Hall, Dee and Lynn Jerome, Mary Ellen Meredith, Drs. Gary and Mary Porter, and Dick and Jeannette Sias. Co-chairmen of the event were Jonna Kauger Kirschner and Teri Stanek. Committee members included Leslie Blair, Vickie Norick, dg smalling, Susan Robertson and G. Calvin Sharpe.