Each year, to celebrate the spirit of the season and help raise funds to support its massive Christmas Toy Drive initiative in rural South Dakota, the Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte hosts a star quilt raffle. This week, the nonprofit youth organization announced that tickets are are on sale for the 2018 raffle.

The 2018 Lakota Star Quilt Raffle runs through the end of the day on Sunday, Dec. 23. The drawing will take place on Christmas Day, and CRYP staff will announce the lucky winner on Tuesday, Dec. 26.

“This year’s quilt has been christened ‘Lakota Summer,’” says Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Hand-crafted by Cheyenne River tribal member Bonnie LeBeaux, it evokes the rich, warm colors of our beloved prairie during the summer months, and serves as a vibrant reminder that winter does not last forever.”

“We’re honored to share our love for our home through traditional Lakota art,” she continues. “And we want our supporters to know that all funds raised through raffle ticket sales will benefit our Christmas Toy Drive, which is one of our longest-running and most important programs. We’ll be serving more than 1,500 children in 20 communities across our reservation this year, which is an enormous undertaking—one we simply couldn’t manage without our friends across the country and around the world.”

Garreau noted that the public can assist with this important 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 on Dec. 26.

If you would like to support the Christmas Toy Drive this holiday season, please consider purchasing tickets in the Lakota Star Quilt Raffle—and visit www.lakotayouth.org/xmas-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 day filled with Christmas 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.