Chickasaw Woman to Rally Riders of the Pontotoc Pursuit

Sierra Welch on her bike

ADA, Okla. – A young Chickasaw woman who navigated a bicycle from Austin to Anchorage under emotionally difficult circumstances will provide motivation for riders of the upcoming Pontotoc Pursuit.

Sierra Welch, who embodies the Chickasaw trait of service to others, was a recent participant of the Texas 4000 ride to raise money to fight cancer. She learned – just days into the trip – her boyfriend’s grandmother succumbed to breast cancer. She grappled with herself about ending the ride, attending the funeral and being a shoulder to lean on for her boyfriend, Drew Herbort.

What she discovered was unyielding support from the Herbort family to carry on. What started in late June ended August 8 with contributions totaling more than $608,000. According to Ms. Welch’s online profile, her goal was to raise $4,500. She raised $5,102.

The University of Texas senior will join efforts October 18 at the Pontotoc Pursuit to raise funds for the Chickasaw Foundation, a nonprofit organization which awards scholarships to Chickasaw students.

Her rallying cry to riders is slated at 8:25 a.m.

The festivities begin at 1300 Cradduck Road (where the former K-Mart was located) in Ada at 8 a.m. Riders will have a choice of four routes – 8-mile, 30-mile, 45-mile and 64-mile treks. Maps of each route may be found at along with registration forms. Participants will start their respective jaunts at 9 a.m.

Ms. Welch, a Dallas native, is scheduled to participate in one of the rides.

The event will end at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Pontotoc Pursuit is co-hosted by the Chickasaw Cycling Club and the Chickasaw Foundation, however, all interested individuals are invited to participate and join the fun.

The foundation provides educational assistance for students who demonstrate excellence in academics, community service, dedication to Native America and a commitment to learning as well as supporting cultural and health related projects. The Chickasaw Foundation was founded in 1971.

For more information, contact the foundation at 580-310-4168 or visit

by Chickasaw Nation