Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving - ANE Style

by John Aldrich

This is Thanksgiving week here in the U.S., and ANE got a jump start on the event with our annual dinner to honor our volunteers. The event took place Sunday evening the 23rd in our newly rededicated warehouse space. All of the volunteers who have helped throughout the year are invited to partake in the evening of celebration of another successful year in service to our Elders.

We had an excellent turnout of about 90 people who brought an outstanding assortment of food. Our new Shi Yazhi princess, Delaina Becenti, greeted people at the door.

And as people settled in at the tables they were able to relive special moments that had occurred throughout the year.

Shawn enjoyed looking over Melyssa's book of photos and narrative about the Shoe Runs to the reservation for the Walk In Beauty Program.

Before we ate Linda honored Virginia Aldrich for her efforts in organizing this annual event.

Our new princess introduced herself with great poise.

And then introduced her family. They are from Green River, WY, and made the drive to Salt Lake to be part of this special event despite somewhat threatening weather.

Then, for the most keenly anticipated moment of the evening, it was time for Linda to announce which table got to head to the food line first.

It seemed as though the selection of dishes was better than ever this year.

Following the meal, C.J. presented the results of the recent rug show. Sales were at an historic high, and the weavers were able to take back much-needed resources to the reservation to help their families through the winter.

The Christmas Ornament Program alone took in more than $14,000 to assist Elders with firewood and food certificates. This was the first year that all of the ornaments were sold during the course of the show. Sandi Aloia headed this successful effort and even made up a few additional ornaments that were available for purchase at the dinner.

Alice Sikorsky was honored for directing the Christmas Stocking Program which will deliver 1300 stockings to school children on the reservation.

Eileen Quintana spoke about the Shi Yazhi pageant and how important it is for the young Navajo girls in an urban environment to learn about their culture.

Then her daughter Rosebud, who won the Grandma Idol contest for the youngest generation at the rug show, sang a song.

And not to be outdone, her son Alfredo also presented a song.

Harry James, leader of the Pow Wow at the rug show, completed the evening with a song.

He invited all the girls who had been in the Shi Yazhi pageant to come up and help him sing another traditional song.

Then each of these girls was sent out into the room to choose a biligaana to help sing another round of the song. With three strong vocalists like this, Harry might be able to retire.

Finally, after the entertainment was over, there was still time for everyone to sit, visit, and eat more.

Wherever you might be in the world take a moment to give thanks for all we have and how we can make 2015 even better.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Setting Up For The Rug Show

by John Aldrich

The excitement builds as we are on the verge of opening the show. Today was set-up time, and we had a good turnout of volunteers to help with this important job. The space within the Snow Park Lodge starts as a blank canvas and ends up transformed into a spectacular display of rugs, crafts and jewelry. Following is a selection of photos to illustrate this process. They are presented without comment and show a variety of activities that took place as well as some of the assortment of rugs, crafts, and jewelry that will be available at the show.

Please come and join us during the three days the show is open to the public. More details can be seen here about the schedule of events.