The Cheyenne River Youth Project has just announced that it will host a special edition of Midnight Basketball this New Year’s Eve at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center. Scheduled from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., the event will include a 5-on-5 tourney, board games, door prizes, hot cocoa and snacks, plus a New Year’s countdown in the gymnasium.

In keeping with CRYP’s ongoing focus on youth wellness and diabetes prevention, participating teens also will be able to take BMI, glucose and blood pressure tests that night at Cokata Wiconi. They can enter those results for even bigger prizes.

According to Jerica Widow, youth programs coordinator, CRYP staff and volunteers were thrilled about making this announcement to the community — and especially to Cheyenne River’s teens.

“We didn’t need to be open on New Year’s Eve,” Widow explained. “We wanted to, because we know how excited the kids will be. They understand that we have to be closed for most of December so we can handle our annual Christmas Toy Drive, but they’re already asking when we’re going to reopen. They’re always super happy to come back when they haven’t been here for a long period of time.

“The Christmas break is also too long for us, without them here,” she added. “I know I speak for the entire CRYP staff when I say that. We love welcoming them back.”

To stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook (/LakotaYouth), Twitter (@LakotaYouth) and Instagram (@waniyetuwowapi).

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.