Wayne and Molly Hughes’ guiding ethic of love your neighbor was on display June 29th at the Open House celebration of their Hughes Charitable Foundation’s new office in Jackson.
With dozens of grant recipients attending among the 60 attendees, the event was a profound, heartwarming coming together of area neighbors and non-profits from near and far. Grantees from organizations across the state took the opportunity to connect, learn about one another’s efforts, and celebrate HCF’s next chapter for value that they have in common: Community Service.
Blessing the guests and office itself were HCF grant recipients from the Northern Arapahoe Tribe, led by Alison Sage who initiated a vital program to engage tribal youth and help prevent suicide by reviving their tribes’ horse culture. The Woxhooxeibii Horse Culture Suicide Prevention Program is an HCF supported program.
Beginning with a ceremonial lighting of a cedar smudge, Alison offered a blessing to the Hughes Charitable Foundation’s new space as well as a prayer to ease the suffering of people all across the globe. Then, with a rhythm as bold as the intermittent thunderclaps outside, the drumming began. Guests were rapt. As Alison and the other drummers sang in Arapahoe a traditional Flag Song, followed by an Eagle Song, the very beat thrummed in every onlooker’s chest. The power was palpable as the music and the scent of cedar smoke spilled out onto the deck and into the gathering area below.
And then, in a perfect reflection of the breathtaking intensity of the blessing and song, it began to rain — a much-needed reprieve for the bone-dry valley of Jackson Hole.
B. Wayne Hughes Jr. said, “The blessing and drum ceremony along with the smudge and the prayers were absolutely amazing,” he said. “And the following rainstorm seemed to affirm the gift that Alison and the group of Northern Arapahoe drummers gave us.”
“We were honored by the attendance of many statewide grantee partners,” reflected Molly Hughes, executive director of the Hughes Charitable Foundation.