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Rez youths put their talents on display

Dec 22, 2013 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

Members of the Wind River UNITY council and the Eastern Shoshone Cross-Age Peer Education project had a busy weekend hosting their first talent show Dec. 7 to raise funds for a winter retreat and other events.


At the Rocky Mountain Hall in Fort Washakie, dancers, drummers, singers and silly characters took their bold personalities to the stage in front of a packed hall to compete for first place.

Butchie Eastman, 20, of South Dakota, and Antoine Edwards Jr., 19, of Nebraska, served as the special guests and judges. Both are singers and songwriters who have recorded YouTube videos that have gained them Internet fame.

Area teens also got the chance to participate in a meet and greet with the guests by paying a small fee that raised a good share of the nearly $1,000 collected Saturday.

Taking the microphone to sing and drum were Faith Ridgley, the Young Chiefs, Belva Day, Kaylie and Kyleen Harding, Jermaine Bell, Jasmine Gould, Jayda Antelope, Amanda and Tom Gardner and Aliyah Yellowcloud. Dancers included White Cloud Sunrhodes, Tyrell Tillman, Leon Ferris, Chance Shakespeare, Heaven OldCoyote and Sharmaine Weed.

Some of the performers got a bad case of the giggles and others secured themselves a second chance by stopping and starting over. Some had the crowd laughing and hollering throughout their performance.

At the end, the judges had Bell, a North Bear singer, and Shakespeare engage in a dance-off to break the tie. In the youth category, Yellowcloud and OldCoyote sang a few notes to break their tie as well. After the tiebreakers, the final prize money went to Bell and Yellowcloud.

The talent show was emceed by the club's members, and UNITY council adviser Sunny Goggles said the members organized the show. The advisers helped invite guests and pay for the travel costs of Edwards and Eastman.

"We wanted to do something for the community," Goggles said. "And we wanted to do a drug- and alcohol-free event."

Goggles said the group soon will have calendars available for sale, and it accepts donations to fund similar fun activities for the youths.

"We need more of these events," she said. "We had an excellent turnout, and it was good to see everyone come out."

Eastman said he enjoyed the show and the hospitality from the community and the club.

"It was fun to see little kids participate," Eastman said. "I like how involved everybody was."

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