Cheyenne River Youth Project's Masquerade Ball & Community Dinner draws nearly 100 people

Guests were able to decorate their own masquerade masks at the Cheyenne River Youth Project's Masquerade Ball & Community Dinner Friday, February 22.(Photo: Cheyenne River Youth Project)

Family-friendly event was a special occasion for younger children experience the Cokata Wiconi facilities, where they will transition for youth programming once they turn 13.

News Release

Cheyenne River Youth Project

In partnership with the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s Indian Child Welfare program, the Cheyenne River Youth Project hosted a Masquerade Ball & Community Dinner at Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) on Friday, February 22. The evening event, which was open to children of all ages as well as adults, drew nearly 100 members of the Eagle Butte community.

Guests were able to play a variety of games for prizes in the Cokata Wiconi gymnasium including a fish pond and cake walk, and decorate their own masquerade masks. Then, following a traditional Lakota blessing, they enjoyed a community meal of sloppy Joes, hot dogs, salad, chips, and cake.

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There was no shortage of tasty food at the Masquerade Ball & Community Dinner held at Cheyenne River Youth Project’s Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) on Friday, February 22.(Photo: Cheyenne River Youth Project)

According to Cheyenne River Youth Project staff, this family-friendly event was a special occasion for younger children to dress up in formal or semi-formal attire, enjoy an evening out with family members and friends, make valuable memories, and experience the Cokata Wiconi facilities, where they will transition for youth programming once they turn 13.

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Cheyenne River Youth Project's Masquerade Ball & Community Dinner was a family-friendly event.(Photo: Cheyenne River Youth Project)

“Events like this give our 4- to 12-year-olds a taste of our teen programs—and what Passion for Fashion is all about,” says Jerica Widow, Cheyenne River Youth Project’s youth programs director. “They can explore and experiment with their own unique styles, champion positive self-esteem and healthy body image, invest in new friendships, and also make memories with the older generations who are there to support them. We’re very much hoping to make this an annual celebration, just like Passion for Fashion.”

For the Masquerade Ball attendees, the evening provided young people with what CRYP is famous for: new opportunities to learn, grow and simply have fun, while also embracing Lakota values and strengthening the bonds within their community and their own families.

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A colorful note thanking Cheyenne River Youth Project staff for the Masquerade Ball & Community Dinner (Photo: Cheyenne River Youth Project)

“Thank you guys for everything you do for our community—it means a lot,” wrote a young party-goer named Zianne in a colorful thank-you note. “I used to come here (because it is) a place to have fun and be safe. You guys have helped me a lot, and still continue to. Keep up the great work! Love you all.”

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 (/LakotaYouth), Twitter (@LakotaYouth) and Instagram (@waniyetuwowapi).

About Cheyenne River Youth Project

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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