CRYP Takes Annual Community Fundraiser to the National Level with GoFundMe Campaign
Published May 31, 2016
EAGLE BUTTE, SOUTH DAKOTA — For the seventh year in a row, the local Dairy Queen in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, is planning to host its popular “Sweet Tooth for Lakota Youth” fundraising event to benefit the Cheyenne River Youth Project. From Sunday, June 5 to Saturday, June 11, $1 of every malt, shake, Blizzard and Orange Julius purchase will be donated to CRYP.
Once again, DQ owners Lonnie and Jackie Heier are hoping to raise $2,000 to benefit CRYP’s youth programming and services, and to raise awareness about the nearly 28-year-old, not-for-profit, grassroots youth project’s ongoing mission in the Cheyenne River community.
The best part is, you don’t have to live near the Eagle Butte DQ to participate in the fundraiser. Donors around the country can contribute this year, thanks to the 20th anniversary of Midnight Basketball, one of the most-loved, successful teen programs on the Cheyenne River Lakota reservation.
“This is an important milestone for CRYP, and to commemorate it, we want to give a Dairy Queen Blizzard to every teen who participates in our 20th Anniversary Celebration this July,” said Tammy Eagle Hunter, CRYP’s youth programs director.
So, from now through June 11, supporters can make a contribution at www.gofundme.com/sweettoothlyouth to support “Sweet Tooth for Lakota Youth.” Every $4 donated will go toward the purchase of a DQ Blizzard for a young person who participates in the Midnight Basketball program. And, for every Blizzard sold, the local Dairy Queen will donate $1 back to CRYP to benefit its ongoing youth programming.
“When we first started Midnight Basketball program in 1996, we had to host it in a school parking lot with portable basketball goals, and it was limited to the summer months,” recalled Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Today, our teens can play ball right here at the CRYP campus, in the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center’s full-size gym. And, our indoor facilities allow us to offer Midnight Basketball year round.
“That’s a big deal for our teens, because this is an impoverished rural area where there are few positive options for evening recreation,” she continued. “They’re passionate about basketball, so this program gives them the safe, healthy, engaging space to do something they love.”
During the six-day run of “Sweet Tooth for Lakota Youth,” CRYP staff members will be keeping a record of all online donations. Then, they’ll arrange to make one big delivery to the teens.
According to Garreau, the most rewarding aspect of this annual spring fundraiser is the partnership with a local business, one that has shown its steadfast support for CRYP and its mission year after year.
“We’re deeply grateful to Lonnie and Jackie for the support they show us, during ‘Sweet Tooth for Lakota Youth’ and throughout the year,” she said. “This really is a community effort. Not only do we have a popular local business standing with us, Cheyenne River families and children of all ages also can show their support by visiting the local Dairy Queen purchasing sweet treats from June 5 to 11. It’s yet another demonstration of how an entire community can pull together and lift itself up.”
The “Sweet Tooth for Lakota Youth” fundraiser directly supports CRYP’s programs, which have been serving children and families on South Dakota’s remote, 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River reservation for more than a quarter century. Garreau acknowledged the importance of community fundraisers like this one, which do more than simply raise money for a cause.
“Community fundraisers also foster goodwill, and they bring members of the community together for a common purpose,” she explained. “That is priceless.”
When the fundraiser kicks off on Sunday, June 5, CRYP will post fundraising updates through Facebook and Twitter. To follow the fundraiser’s progress as it marches toward its $2,000 goal, join CRYP’s social media community and log on throughout the week. And, consider supporting the fundraiser online at www.gofundme.com/sweettoothlyouth.
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