By Roy Cook
The American Indian Recruitment, AIR Program, 14th year Fundraiser and Banquet
at the Sycuan Resort September 25, 08 is a fabulous, superbly attended
success! Gathered tonight are elegant ladies, polite gentlemen, generous
sponsors and Tribal tables of council members and proud relations. Randy
Edmonds and his wife Bonnie along with Connie Greybull and others are
at the SCAIR table.
Guassic makes the event opening welcome for Sycuan Chairman Danny Tucker.
From 6 to 9pm there is a well-coordinated program of Traditional cultural
recognition and significant recognitions and achievements in the academics
and Tribal communities.
Additionally there is a moving tribute
to a point of light mentor and part of the AIR program, Crystal Roberts.
Jamul Indian Village and the Meza Family Memorial Scholarship are acknowledged
with respect and appreciation.
Many attendees have come to expect and appreciate the efforts of the Raffle
Queen, Eleanor Miller, Traditional Kumeyaay pottery, baskets, gift baskets
along with sports memorabilia and Pendleton blankets encouraged many to
check their tickets at the many raffles this evening. There are good times
and great prizes for all attending!
award scholarships, mentor award of the year and the community leadership
award of the year were sandwiched in between the raffles. Seriously, Natlia
Orosco introduced Bonnie Buchanan and Devon Lomayesya introduced Brenaya
Batey as the two recipients of the Student award scholarships for 2008.
Dr. Michelle Jacob from USD, in Plains regalia, introduced the mentor
of the year, AEA Cowen Alex.
Finally, Dwight Lonayesva announced the community leadership recipient,
Vickie Gambala SDUSD Title VII Indian Education. He acknowledged her many
years of encouragement and support to the AIR program. She
said, "Osio, I am a Cherokee from Oklahoma. Both my sons, daughter
and granddaughter are here tonight and I am very happy each time my family
is together. I have been with the San Diego School District for 25 years
and I always appreciate the support and participation of my Title VII
Indian parent committee. All our efforts, volunteers and partnerships
like AIR and SCAIR are for the future success of our Indian children.
Wado, thank you."
We have had a great year with the AIR Program. We have directly
served 108 students and over 200 overall participants (students and
mentors) within this one-year. Some of our AIR students are from
distant Reservations over 51 miles away. AIR has served Indian students
representing 11 of the 17 Tribal Bands in San Diego County.
We appreciate our community partners for this last year and look
forward to our 15th year of challenge and success for our Indian
Students. Best of all, our Indian Children appreciate your support!
Mehan, thank you.