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    Cecilia FireThunder to be Keynote Speaker at This Year’s Passion for Fashion

Cecilia FireThunder to be Keynote Speaker at This Year’s Passion for Fashion

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that Cecilia FireThunder, the first woman to serve as president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, will be keynote speaker at this year’s eagerly anticipated Passion for Fashion. The event is scheduled for 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center in Eagle Butte.

“We’re honored to welcome Cecilia FireThunder to our community and to our 2017 Passion for Fashion event,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “This event is all about lifting up our young Lakota women, in every aspect, from supporting their wellness to strengthening the connection to their culture. Cecilia has an impressive background in native health, wellness and education, with a particular emphasis on healing. We’re very much looking forward to giving our youth this opportunity to hear her speak.”

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    It’s Not Just About the Prom: Support Passion for Fashion, and Help Lift Up Young Lakota Women

It’s Not Just About the Prom: Support Passion for Fashion, and Help Lift Up Young Lakota Women

A month remains to support the Cheyenne River Youth Project®’s 2017 Passion for Fashion event, which is scheduled for 1-6 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 at CRYP’s Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center. The nonprofit youth project is asking its friends and supporters to make an in-kind or financial contribution so it can make sure Cheyenne River’s young women will have a prom night to remember.

It’s about so much more than the prom, however. Since its inception 16 years ago, Passion for Fashion has proven to be a powerful venue for building friendships, multigenerational relationships, and positive self-esteem.

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CRYP Launches Dress Drive for 2017 Passion for Fashion

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has officially launched its 2017 Dress Drive for Passion for Fashion. The nonprofit organization is asking its friends and supporters to donate everything from dresses to hair accessories so its young people can be ready for this spring’s high school prom.

On the surface, the prom is all about glamorous gowns and dashing tuxedos, fresh corsages and sparkling jewelry, popular music and lots of dancing. Underneath, however, this uniquely American rite of passage is about so much more—it’s a celebration of friendship, multigenerational bonding, and positive self-esteem.

Unfortunately, for too many teenagers on the Cheyenne River Lakota reservation and in neighboring rural towns, this vision can seem far from reality. Their families cannot spare the significant funds necessary for the latest formal wear and all the accessories, nor is it feasible for them to make the three- to five-hour round trip required to go shopping in distant Pierre or Rapid City.

Executive Director Julie Garreau, Youth Programs Director Tammy Granados and the rest of the CRYP staff firmly believe that Cheyenne River’s youth should have the same exciting, memorable prom experiences as those enjoyed by teens across America. To provide that experience, the grassroots youth project created Passion for Fashion in 2001.

“At its heart, Passion for Fashion has much in common with our more well-known Christmas Toy Drive,” Garreau said. “In both cases, our young people are simply amazed to see the miracle that unfolds at Cokata Wiconi. They feel how treasured they are, and they come to realize how many people truly do care.”

The 17th annual Passion for Fashion event is scheduled for 1-6 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 at Cokata Wiconi. For the ninth year in a row, it will feature a special theme.

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2017 Passion for Fashion: How to Help

If you would like to support the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s 2017 Dress Drive for Passion for Fashion, please considering contributing any of the following:

-New/Gently Used Formal Dresses (Sizes 4-26, especially sizes 16-26)
-Dress Accessories (Examples: Purses, Wraps, Scarves)
-Formal Shoes (especially sizes 9-12)
-Jewelry
-Hair Accessories & Care Products
-Facial, Manicure and Pedicure Supplies
-Makeup and Bath Sets
-Gift Cards
-Cash Donations

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    Enter to Win Lakota Star Quilt & Support Our Christmas Toy Drive

Enter to Win Lakota Star Quilt & Support Our Christmas Toy Drive

To celebrate the spirit of the season, and continue to raise much-needed funds so it can bring Christmas cheer to more than 1,600 children this year, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® is hosting a Winter Star Quilt Raffle. Tickets are on sale until the end of the day on Friday, December 23, and on Monday, December 26, CRYP staff will announce the lucky winner who will be receiving a handmade, queen-size Lakota star quilt.

Bonnie LeBeau, a Cheyenne River Sioux tribal member, hand-crafted the seasonally inspired quilt, which has been named “Prairie Winter.” According to Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director, all funds raised through the raffle will benefit the annual Christmas Toy Drive, one of the nonprofit youth project’s longest-running and most important programs.

“We’re hoping to raise $3,000 in this year’s star quilt raffle,” Garreau said. “Those funds will go directly to our toy drive, which serves more than 1,600 children ages 4 to 18 in communities across our 2.8-million-acre reservation.”

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    CRYP Launches Annual Christmas Toy Drive for 1,600+ Children

CRYP Launches Annual Christmas Toy Drive for 1,600+ Children

By the time fall arrives, countless children are already writing their letters to Santa Claus, already counting down the days until he arrives with his bountiful stocking-stuffers and beautifully wrapped packages. Countless parents are already making their annual holiday to-do lists, hoping that they’ll get the holiday cards, shopping, baking, and decorating done on time this year.

Unfortunately, that’s not the reality for everyone. When there is no room in the family budget for gifts, much less ornaments or Christmas cookies, the holidays are likely to be stressful and sad rather than merry.

That’s why the Cheyenne River Youth Project started its annual Christmas Toy Drive more than a quarter century ago. On the Cheyenne River reservation in north-central South Dakota, the unemployment rate hovers near 75 percent, and approximately 60 percent of households with children under the age of 18 fall below the poverty line. Here, too many children would likely have no Christmas at all, so CRYP stepped in to help Santa Claus—and ease the burden on families who have so little.

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    Support CRYP Programming: Enter to Win a Handmade Lakota Star Quilt!

Support CRYP Programming: Enter to Win a Handmade Lakota Star Quilt!

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® announced today that tickets are now on sale for its annual Winter Star Quilt Raffle. CRYP will hold the drawing for the winner of the handmade, queen-size, authentic Lakota star quilt on Monday, December 26.

Bonnie LeBeau, a Cheyenne River Sioux tribal member, hand-crafted the seasonally inspired quilt, which has been named “Prairie Winter.” According to Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director, all funds raised through the raffle will benefit the youth project’s ongoing youth programming and family services.

“We’re hoping to raise $3,000 in this year’s star quilt raffle,” Garreau said. “Those funds will go directly to our youth programs, which serve children ages 4 to 18 in our community.”

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Support CRYP’s 2016 School Supplies Drive!

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that it is accepting donations for its 2016 School Supplies Drive, scheduled to take place at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, August 8. All members of CRYP’s Family Services program are welcome to participate with their children.

Families who aren’t able to attend the distribution are welcome to visit Cokata Wiconi at a later date to choose their school supplies. In 2015, CRYP served more than 500 Cheyenne River children at the scheduled August distribution and in the days and weeks to follow.

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It’s Not Too Late to Support RedCan 2016!

There’s still time to support Cheyenne River Youth Project®’s acclaimed RedCan graffiti jam, scheduled for July 6-9 in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Through Crowdrise, the nonprofit youth organization seeks to raise much-needed funds to cover the costs of paint, art supplies, food and beverages, and artists’ travel expenses.

Several of the headlining artists have made their own financial contributions and are sharing the Crowdrise campaign through their personal and professional networks. Four of these artists also hail from the Midwest; based in the Twin Cities, they are Biafra Inc., Cyfi, Daesk and Wundr.

These four artists will join headliners Scribe, Serval, East and Kazilla, local Cheyenne River artists, and youth artists of all ages for four high-energy days overflowing with art, music, culture and fellowship.

Not only will the artists be painting in CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park, they’ll be adding their unique murals to various buildings around the city of Eagle Butte. Community members and visitors also will be able to view 20 pieces of the current art interns’ work in Cokata Wiconi’s classroom space, and on RedCan’s final night, acclaimed native rapper Supaman will rock Waniyetu Wowapi.

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    “Sweet Tooth for Lakota Youth” Fundraiser is Coming Up on June 5-11

“Sweet Tooth for Lakota Youth” Fundraiser is Coming Up on June 5-11

For the seventh year in a row, the local Dairy Queen in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, is planning to host its popular “Sweet Tooth for Lakota Youth” fundraising event to benefit the Cheyenne River Youth Project®. From Sunday, June 5 to Saturday, June 11, $1 of every malt, shake, Blizzard and Orange Julius purchase will be donated to CRYP.

Once again, DQ owners Lonnie and Jackie Heier are hoping to raise $2,000 to benefit CRYP’s youth programming and services, and to raise awareness about the nearly 28-year-old, not-for-profit, grassroots youth project’s ongoing mission in the Cheyenne River community.

The best part is, you don’t have to live near the Eagle Butte DQ to participate in the fundraiser. Donors around the country can contribute this year, thanks to the 20th anniversary of Midnight Basketball, one of the most-loved, successful teen programs on the Cheyenne River Lakota reservation.

“This is an important milestone for CRYP, and to commemorate it, we want to give a Dairy Queen Blizzard to every teen who participates in our 20th Anniversary Celebration this July,” said Tammy Eagle Hunter, CRYP’s youth programs director.

So, from now through June 11, supporters can make a GoFundMe contribution to support “Sweet Tooth for Lakota Youth.” Every $4 donated will go toward the purchase of a DQ Blizzard for a young person who participates in the Midnight Basketball program. And, for every Blizzard sold, the local Dairy Queen will donate $1 back to CRYP to benefit its ongoing youth programming.

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