By Jim Dunn
“Living Within Community”.    This has been the spirit of the development Tatanka since Tommy Hartzog put the big bronze buffalo at the top of Young’s Mountain over a decade ago.    The Indian word Tatanka had two meanings in the Lakota language.  The primary meaning was buffalo.  The secondary meaning was living within the community.    “Living Within Community” has been the watchword of Tatanka since the beginning – building a special community in a special place.

For many years, whenever a new lot has been sold in Tatanka, a portion of the proceeds are given to the Hickory Nut Gorge Foundation.  This is a new intiative. It reinforces the spirit of philanthropy and community orientation for the Tatanka community.

The Indians were aware that the buffalo herds didn’t fight like the Indian tribes did.  They respected that nature in the buffalo and aspired to that themselves.  To be called “Tatanka” within the tribe was an honor.  It meant that you were a solid member of the tribe.    It designated moral leadership in the tribe because you could be counted on to do the right thing.

In the spirit of Tatanka, Buffalo Cliffs and Buffalo Cove have established a Special Interest Endowment at the Hickory Nut Gorge Foundation (HNGF) for the Lake Lure Classical Academy (LLCA) in honor of our Founders Circle members.

Every good school runs a tight budget.  Budgeting requires discipline.  Discipline requires structure.  And sometimes structure can be hindering.  Never does a school year go by that the principal doesn’t find some need that a little bit of extra cash wouldn’t help.

This first Special Interest Endowment does just that.  It provides, for as long as the LLCA exists, an annual grant called the Principal’s Discretionary Fund.  This gives the principal a unique assist to solve problems that arise during the school year – a little cash outside the school board budget.  It helps in a small way to make a special school in a special place a little bit better.  We believe that is “Living Within Community”.

The Hickory Nut Gorge Foundation is a component fund of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.