The Cheyenne River Youth Project has announced the launch of its annual star quilt raffle, which will support its Wo Otúh’an Wi Toy Drive on South Dakota’s remote Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. Every raffle ticket purchase will help bring Santa Claus to hundreds of Lakota children this holiday season.

Tickets are now on sale, and the 2020 raffle will run through the end of the day on Wednesday, Dec. 23. CRYP staff will announce the lucky winner via Facebook Live on Tuesday, Dec. 29.

“This year’s quilt has been christened ‘Sugar Plum,’” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Hand-crafted by Cheyenne River tribal member Bonnie LeBeaux, its appealing, delicate hues evoke the sweetness of the season.

“In the Lakota language, there is no word for art,” she continued. “For our people, art is life. And we believe there is no better way to share our love for our homelands and our culture than through traditional Lakota art.”

Funds raised through raffle ticket sales will directly benefit CRYP’s Wo Otúh’an Wi Toy Drive. Started in 1990 as the Christmas Toy Drive, the beloved program was renamed last year to reflect traditional Lakota values.

“Wo Otúh’an Wi means ‘Moon of Giving Away Presents’ in the Lakota language,” Garreau explained. “At its heart, the toy drive has always been about generosity and caring for our community — and we simply couldn’t manage such an enormous undertaking without the generosity of our friends across the country and around the world. The holiday season is a celebration of giving, and that is a deeply held Lakota value.”

Garreau noted that the public can assist with the star quilt raffle, a critical toy-drive fundraiser, in four ways. Supporters may buy tickets, offer to sell tickets, help spread the word by telling family and friends, and share raffle details through social media..

Tickets are $1 each or $5 for a six-ticket packet. To purchase tickets, send cash, checks or money orders to: Cheyenne River Youth Project, Attn: Star Quilt, 702 4th St., P.O. Box 410, Eagle Butte, SD 57625. You also may pay online at www.lakotayouth.org/win-a-star-quilt.

To sell tickets, please call (605) 964-8200 or send an email to Garreau at julie.cryp@gmail.com. She will send as many tickets as you request; they come in books of six. Once you receive your tickets, along a quilt photo and information sheet, you will be responsible for selling those tickets. All tickets need to be turned in by Dec. 23 so CRYP can conduct the drawing as planned and make the official announcement on Dec. 29.

If you would like to support the Wo Otúh’an Wi Toy Drive this holiday season, please consider purchasing tickets in the Lakota Star Quilt Raffle—and visit https://lakotayouth.org/toy-drive/ for detailed information regarding the many other ways you can help bring Santa Claus to more than 1,500 children this year. Every contribution, no matter the size, will ensure that Cheyenne River’s children receive what they most richly deserve: a very special Christmas holiday filled with magic, joy and hope.

To learn more about the Cheyenne River Youth Project and its programs, and for information about making donations and volunteering, call (605) 964-8200 or visit www.lakotayouth.org. And, to stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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.

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