By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Oklahoma music icons Wanda Jackson and Vince Gill will be awarded the Global Vision Award by Sister Cities OKC on Wednesday, May 18. The presentation will take place at their annual luncheon event, which will be held at the Chevy Bricktown Events Center from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
“Each year Sister Cities OKC recognizes individuals or organizations for their leadership in our core mission, promoting the image, economic development, culture, business and educational projects connecting our city and the world,” said Sister Cities OKC board member Mary Blankenship Pointer.
The Sister Cities Board of Directors voted unanimously to honor Jackson and Gill with the organization’s highest award. The organization’s slogan is “Connect globally, thrive locally.”
Known to many as the Queen of Rockabilly and First Lady of Rock’n’Roll, Jackson got her start on a radio show when she was still in high school. The Oklahoma native was discovered by Western Swing singer, Hank Thompson.
At almost 78 years old, Jackson continues to tour the world and plans to return to the studio later this year with another celebrity producer.
Born in Norman, Oklahoma, Gill is a renowned singer, songwriter and recording artist who has received 20 Grammy Awards and has sold more than 26 million albums. The Academy of Country Music has bestowed eight awards to Gill. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.
In addition to his passion for music, Gill donates much of his time supporting numerous charitable organizations such as the Children’s Heath Fund, the Colon Cancer Alliance, the Rainforest Foundation and the Special Olympics. He is one of country music’s most active and effective humanitarians.
Founded by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956, Sister Cities International is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which serves as the national membership organization for individual sister cities counties and states across the U.S.
This network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers in 570 member communities with over 2,300 partnerships in 150 countries on six continents.
Through regular meetings, communication and the planning of events, Sister Cities OKC maintains an active program.
Low-cost networking opportunities include the communication between the mayors of our sister cities, along with annual reports and city planning, or the exchange of children’s artwork and letters between sister school programs.
The organization shares information on topics such as society, technology and business, along with movies or speeches that celebrate the culture of a sister city. Oklahoma City’s sister cities are Haikou, Hainan, China; Kigali, Rwanda; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Tainan City, Taiwan; Ulyanovsk, Russia, Puebla, Mexico; Taipei, Taiwan; and Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.
For additional information, visit sistercitiesokc.org or contact Mary Blankenship Pointer at 405.253.8641.