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(Many Paths)
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Cheyenne River Youth Project Fundraiser Has Global Reach
by Native News Network Staff in Native Currents
Win Handmade "Christmas" Lakota Star Quilt

EAGLE BUTTE, SOUTH DAKOTA – The Cheyenne River Youth Project has just launched its Christmas Star Quilt Raffle, giving members of the public a chance to win the distinctive, queen size Lakota star quilt appropriately named "A Christmas Star." CRYP's staff is eager to see where the requests for raffle tickets originate, as the 25-year-old, not-for-profit youth organization's raffle fundraisers tend to reach far beyond US borders. Previous years' raffle winners have come from as far away as the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

"The best part of these raffles is that they're international," said Julie Garreau, CRYP's executive director. "Anyone can buy tickets, whether you live in South Dakota, elsewhere in the United States or in another country."

The blue and white quilt is hand-crafted by Bonnie LeBeau, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

Star quilts originated among the Great Plains nations after European contact. The star pattern evolved from the nations' original buffalo-robe designs.

"Our people simply adopted the newcomers' quilting techniques and adapted them to suit our culture," said Tammy Eagle Hunter, CRYP's youth programs director. "A star quilt is a truly one-of-a-kind item to add to your home or give to a loved one." "For this year's Christmas star quilt raffle, we're adding an extra challenge," she continued. "We're hoping to raise $2,500 in honor of CRYP's 25th anniversary. All proceeds will benefit our youth programming and services."

Tickets are already on sale and may be purchased until Tuesday, December 24. CRYP will conduct the drawing and announce the winner on Friday, December 27; the organization will then ship the quilt to the winner free of charge.

"There are several ways people can help with the raffle," Eagle Hunter said. "First, buy tickets. They are $1 each or $5 for a six-ticket packet. You also can sell tickets for us, and help spread the word by telling family and friends, sharing information on Facebook and posting on Twitter."

To purchase tickets go to

Simply click the "Donate Now" button on the home page, and put "A Christmas Star" in the notes section when paying with a credit card. Please avoid writing the word "raffle" anywhere in the payment.

Or send cash, checks or money orders by mail to:

Cheyenne River Youth Project
Attn: Christmas Star Quilt
P.O. Box 410
Eagle Butte, SD 57625

To sell tickets, please send an email to Julie Garreau, CRYP's executive director, at 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 December 24 so CRYP can conduct the drawing as planned on December 27.

Garreau also noted that buying a raffle ticket can lead to much more.

"One of our raffle winners, Shaun McGirr, ended up traveling to the Cheyenne River reservation to serve as a volunteer during our Christmas Toy Drive," Garreau recalled. "You just never know where your raffle ticket might take you. You might win a star quilt, you might discover a passion for volunteering, you might decide to fulfill a "Dear Santa" letter in our toy drive — but no matter what happens, you know that your contribution makes a real difference in the lives of Cheyenne River's children."

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

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The Cheyenne River Youth Project®
The Cheyenne River Youth Project® was founded in January 1988 in response to the community’s need for more services that support struggling children and their families. Originally housed in a converted bar on the town’s Main Street, the organization created a safe place for children to come after school, offering activities such as arts and crafts, intramural sports and volunteer mentorship, in addition to serving a healthy meal and snack each day. The youth center, known locally as “The Main”, was operated completely by a volunteer staff and quickly became a vital element of the Cheyenne River Community. Despite its small size, and very little money for programming, the center was filled to capacity each day.

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