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Sports October 10, 2017  RSS feed

Former Belles of the Week

Submitted by Amanda Harter and edited by Sherry Matney


Sheila Hawes Richards Sheila Hawes Richards Due to the upcoming 60th Anniversary of the Bison Belles, sponsor Amanda Harter has submitted a weekly writing featuring former Bison Belles. This week the Former Belles of the week are the daughters of Paul and Bernardine (Reeder) Hawes; Paulette Hawes Bing, Sheila Hawes Richards, and Patricia Hawes Egbert.

Paulette Hawes Bing was a Belle from 1958-1960. She was on the very first Belle Line, participating in Belles her junior and senior years. According to Paulette, The Bison Belle Drill Team began as a dream of Tee Rhyne, Virginia Martin, and Bernardine Hawes, as well as other friends in the community. Bing was in the fifth grade when discussion of possibly creating a drill team at Buffalo began, and that dream became a reality almost six years later. Paulette’s favorite routine as a Belle was the “Fire Baton” Routine… Yes, they performed with batons on FIRE! Paulette says that Belles taught her poise, etiquette, and leadership. Bing was asked if she would take the officers to camp after Tee Rhyne had a heart attack. She read in the paper, upon her return from camp, that to her surprise, she was hired as the new Belle Director. She served as Belle director from 1967-1971 and again in 1974. Bing said that one of the best things about being director was having both of her sisters in Belles when she was director.


Paulette Hawes Bing Paulette Hawes Bing Sheila Hawes Richards was a Belle for 6 years, 1962-1968. She also served as a drummer from 1962-1964, and was a Belle officer from 1964- 1968. Sheila said that Belles taught her how to be a leader. Her favorite routine was to “Ragtime Cowboy Jo”.

One of her favorite memories of being a Belle was the friendship that she had with Mary Jane and the time they spent practicing together. Shelia later was the director of the Westwood Pantherettes for 10 years. The Pantherettes and the Bison Belles came together performing one half time routine on the field when Shelia was the director at Westwood and Paulette was the Belle Director and their little sister, Patricia was a Belle.


Patricia Hawes Egbert Patricia Hawes Egbert Patricia Hawes Egbert was a Belle from 1971-1977. She had three different directors; her sister Paulette Hawes Bing from 1971-1975 , Reda Ragsdale for 1975- 1976, and Reda Barnett Robinson 1976-1977. Patricia was an officer 1976-77 and she says that being an officer was difficult. Her favorite routines were all of the prop routines because they pushed the team to work harder. Patricia says, “Belles taught me to never give up, because my friends and officers kept pushing me and encouraged me to overcome any lack of dance skills.” Her most memorable moment as a Belle was losing her skirt during a halftime performance, and having the courage to continue to dance to the end of the performance. Belles are taught to continue dancing no matter what happens!

Another interesting fact is that their mother, Bernardine (Reeder) Hawes polished everyone’s boots each week for about 10 years. The Bison Belle Drill team is still going strong after 60 years because of mothers like Mrs. Hawes.


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