Less than three weeks remain before the Cheyenne River Youth Project®’s eagerly anticipated 2016 Passion for Fashion event. That means donors and supporters have until Thursday, March 10 to send their new and gently used dresses, formal shoes, jewelry and accessories to CRYP’s East Lincoln Street campus.
“Each year, we try to get all donations in house a couple of days prior to Passion for Fashion,” explained Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Our staff and volunteers need some time to sort all the donations by type and size, and to prepare them for roughly 100 teenage girls who can’t wait to have the opportunity to find just the right dress, shoes, and accessories for prom. It’s a true American rite of passage, and it should be one of the most magical experiences in their young lives.”
This year’s Passion for Fashion will take place on Saturday, March 12 at the Cokata Wiconi teen center and will feature the exciting (and timely) theme “The Force Awakens.”
The young women will arrive at mid-day for their formal, sit-down luncheon and a keynote presentation from guest speaker Darrell Redleaf, a top celebrity hair stylist, makeup artist, product developer and TV commentator with 30 years of experience in the Hollywood glamour business who also has personal ties to Cheyenne River. Afterward, they’ll move on to Cokata Wiconi’s gymnasium for manicures, pedicures, hair styling, makeovers, facials and shopping for all the prom essentials.
Once the teens have found their dream dresses, shoes, and accessories, they’ll reveal their transformed selves on a formal catwalk, and they’ll pose for fashion photographs with professional lifestyle/portrait photographer Dawnee LeBeau, who generously donates her time each year. Each young woman will go home with a special swag bag filled with bath and beauty products, and jewelry that matches their gowns.
“The day really is about transformation,” Garreau said. “Our participants and guests are always in awe of how complete that transformation is. It’s a time for each young woman to discover her own self-confidence and self-worth, it’s a time for her to connect on a deep level with peers and family members, and it’s a time to shine.”
CRYP started its Passion for Fashion program in 2001 to ensure that every teen could make her prom dreams come true. On the Cheyenne River reservation, families’ budgets are stretched to cover basic household needs and frequently cannot accommodate any extras like prom dresses and shoes.
One of CRYP’s most popular and long-running programs, Passion for Fashion does indeed provide all prom essentials — while also fostering intergenerational exchange, bonding, self-esteem, and positive body image. In other words, this is an occasion for each teen to celebrate her authentic self, in all its beauty, confidence, and potential.
“Passion for Fashion has always been about so much more than dresses, jewelry and makeup,” Garreau said. “Those things are important, and they’re fun, but what matters most is that we help our young women to understand how beautiful and special they are, and to appreciate how our community treasures them. Each girl has gifts to offer the world, and Passion for Fashion is designed to celebrate those gifts.”
All high-school girls on the Cheyenne River reservation receive personalized invitations to Passion for Fashion. Interested teens must RSVP to Tammy Eagle Hunter, youth programs director, at (605) 964-8200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For details regarding how you can support CRYP’s 2016 Passion for Fashion program, see the information below. To learn more about the program, check out the video on CRYP’s YouTube Channel, and to stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The Cheyenne River Youth Project, founded in 1988, is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities that ensure strong, self-sufficient families and communities.
How You Can Help
If you would like to support the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s 2016 Passion for Fashion program, 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)
-Hair Accessories & Care Products
-Facial, Manicure & Pedicure Supplies
-Makeup and Bath Sets
CRYP usually makes a variety of additional purchases, including makeup, food, and some accessories, so every contribution helps. Please send donations to CRYP at P.O. Box 410, East Lincoln Street, Eagle Butte, SD 57625. To make a financial contribution, either mail to the above address or simply click “Help CRYP” in the navigation bar above and select “Monetary Donations.”
To ensure that CRYP staff and volunteers have time to prepare for the Passion for Fashion event on March 12, please send all packages and contributions by Thursday, March 10. The youth project also will gladly accept late donations, since many teens who are unable to attend the event itself will pick up their dresses at a later date. Donations for next year are welcome as well! For more information, call (605) 964-8200 or send e-mail to email@example.com.
RSVP for Passion for Fashion!
Teenagers from the Cheyenne River reservation who would like to attend this year’s Passion for Fashion event at the Cokata Wiconi Teen Center on Saturday, March 12 should contact the Cheyenne River Youth Project to let staff know they plan to participate. RSVP as soon as possible by calling (605) 964-8200 or sending e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.