Cheyenne River Youth Project Needs All Dresses and Accessories by Thursday, March 12
EAGLE BUTTE, SOUTH DAKOTA — Less than three weeks remain before the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s eagerly anticipated 2015 Passion for Fashion event. That means donors and supporters have until Thursday, March 12 to send their new and gently used dresses, formal shoes, jewelry and accessories to CRYP’s East Lincoln Street campus.
“If possible, we’re trying to get all donations in house a couple of days prior to Passion for Fashion,” explained Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Our staff and volunteers need some time to sort all the donations by type and size, and to prepare them for roughly 100 teenage girls who are eagerly awaiting the chance to find just the right dress, shoes, and accessories for what they hope will be the night of their lives.”
This year’s Passion for Fashion will take place on Saturday, March 14 at the Cokata Wiconi teen center and will feature the exciting theme “Glamour and Graffiti.” When the young women arrive for their formal, sit-down luncheon and the keynote presentation from guest speaker Kimberly Tilsen-Brave Heart, they will be surrounded by Pop Art/Street Art in CRYP’s Keya Cafe and lobby area. Then, as they move on to enjoy manicures, pedicures, hair styling, makeovers, facials and shopping for all the prom essentials, they’ll experience Creative Lettering, Handstyles, Street Art of the World, New York City and much more.
“Every year, we completely transform Cokata Wiconi for Passion for Fashion, and our guests are always amazed at how complete that transformation is,” Garreau said. “We’re so excited to bring this particular theme to life, because not only does every teenager deserve her own time to shine, she should have this opportunity to explore her creativity and her own unique ways of expressing herself.”
CRYP started its Passion for Fashion program in 2001 to ensure that every teen could make her prom dreams come true. On the Cheyenne River reservation, families’ budgets are stretched to cover basic household needs and frequently cannot accommodate any extras like prom dresses and shoes.
One of CRYP’s most popular and long-running programs, Passion for Fashion does indeed provide all prom essentials — while also fostering intergenerational exchange, bonding, self-esteem, and positive body image. In other words, this is an occasion for each teen to celebrate her authentic self, in all its beauty, confidence, and potential.
“Of course we want to make sure that every girl has what she needs for the prom, but Passion for Fashion is so much more than that,” Garreau said. “We want each and every one of our young women to understand, at the deepest possible level, that she is beautiful, special and absolutely treasured by her community. Each has her own unique gifts to offer the world.”
Once the teens have found their dream dresses, shoes, and accessories, they’ll reveal their transformed selves on a formal catwalk, and they’ll pose for fashion photographs with professional lifestyle/portrait photographer Dawnee LeBeau, who generously donates her time each year. Each young woman will go home with a special swag bag filled with bath and beauty products, in addition to jewelry that matches their gowns.
All high-school girls on the Cheyenne River reservation receive personalized invitations to Passion for Fashion. Interested teens must RSVP to Tammy Eagle Hunter, youth programs director, at (605) 964-8200 or email@example.com.
CRYP also welcomes teens from the nearby Standing Rock reservation, and from border towns such as Faith, South Dakota. Family members of all ages are encouraged to attend with their teens.
For its 2015 Passion for Fashion event, CRYP needs new and gently used formal dresses, especially in sizes 11 to 20. It also needs shoes in all sizes, especially in sizes 8-11.
The organization also asks for jewelry, hair accessories, makeup and bath sets, and gift cards. Cash donations also are welcome; staff and volunteers will take any contributed funds and make additional purchases based on need.
“Menswear would be great, too,” Garreau said, “even if it’s just white button-up shirts and shoes.”
All contributions must be at CRYP’s East Lincoln Street campus no later than Thursday, March 12, as staff will need to sort and organize hundreds of dresses, pairs of shoes, and accessory items prior to the March 14 main event. Teens who are unable to attend on Saturday will be able to visit Cokata Wiconi at a later date.
For details regarding how you can support CRYP’s 2015 Passion for Fashion program, see the included sidebar. And to learn more about the program, check out the video on CRYP’s YouTube Channel. Simply go to youtube.com and search for “Cheyenne River Youth Project” and “Passion for Fashion.”
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, LinkedIn and Twitter.