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Sundance brother and his wife need help!!

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  • Sundance brother and his wife need help!!

    I know this is a hard time of the year for most people but there is an extreme emergency situation here. A sundancer and singer from Pine Ridge, South Dakota are in real need. I'm trying to get people together to pitch in what they can to help them out. I'm posting an e mail from Mary that she sent out after I talked to her. She was so embarrassed to have to ask for help until I told her that people would want to know. I then contacted Red Road Awareness and they picked up the ball and we're finally getting some things rolling.
    We are really concerned that all their sacred/ceremonial items are in this van and are being held as ransom for towing and storage fees. They only walked away with the clothes on their backs..EVERYTHING is in that van!!
    Please read the following with an open heart. ~mato

    Hello to all of you,
    This is a difficult email for me write, because I don't like to ask for help for myself. I truly prefer to be the one doing the helping. But as a friend just reminded me, it's one of those lessons I need to learn. How to admit, I need help. So, here goes. (Sorry if it's long, we want you to have the whole story)
    A couple of weeks ago I got a phone call from my daughter Cristy in Colorado that she had a lump in her left shoulder that the doctors thought might be cancer. And she had already been through it before and had a 100% healing that time, but she was feeling a little scared and wanted her Mom.
    Bootsy and I didn't have the money to go out but it was so important to her that she sent us the gas money. After talking it over we decided to go out and spend the winter with her. I had not seen her or my grandchildren for over 4 years.
    We packed up everything and headed out. Things were going fine at first but when we got to the far side of Missouri (at 2 am) we started to run into bad weather and were going to try to get to the other side of Kansas City before we stopped. Unfortunately we didn't make it that far. When we got to the town of Odessa we hit a patch of Black Ice on a bridge and lost control of the van. We spun around a few times hitting the guardrail, bouncing off it at least twice. Both front tires blew and when we hit the rail at one point there was a light pole on the other side of it that crunched in the side on the passenger door, bending the frame. In the process the drive shaft broke and was hanging off the bottom. When it was over we were sitting facing the opposite direction with trucks coming right at us. I started to flash SOS with our lights and thankfully they saw us. It was the scariest thing you could imagine. It happened so fast but there was time to have the thought go through my mind that we might not make it. But we prayed. Hard and fast. And help was there. We both made it through without a scratch. We didn't even feel the aches and pains you would think we would have. Looking at the van later, it was a true miracle we walked away from it. We could have lost our lives. Tonkasila was showed once again that he is there.
    The police came and called a tow truck. The van was taken to the storage lot of the local mechanic. And we were taken to the local motel. The next morning we called my daughter and let her know what happened. We didn't have much money. All we had started with was enough to get to Colorado and some of that we had to use for the motel. They didn't have anything left either, since they had sent the last of their money to bring us out. But when their friends found out what happened they pitched in to help them come and get us. Even my 13 year old granddaughter pitched in with her babysitting money.
    When they got to us, we went to talk to the tow company and was told that we would have to pay the tow fee and daily storage. We didn't have the money to take care of that and still get back to their house so we had to leave the van. They wouldn't let us get anything out of the van but my purse and a blanket. Everything we own is in that van. Including all of our Sacred Things. The Chanupa, Feathers. Everything. I also had been going through all my things and wanted to pass on some family items that had come down to me. Little things that wouldn't mean much to other people but were important to us. Such as my Grandfathers pillow that my Mom gave to me when he passed. I also had all of our family photos and negatives.(even one of my Great Grandma) I wanted to go through them with her so she could have some of them. I even asked if I could get my eyeglasses and they said No. They wanted their money first. Believe me, a part of me wanted to throw a fit and fight with them about it but also didn't want to push things in a small town where the police were friends with the tow guy. (small town politics) Didn't want people I love to be put in jail because I couldn't control my temper. (A younger me wouldn't have taken the time to think first, Thank God for lessons learned) So I took a deep breath, put down tobacco and said a prayer. We had to leave it all, but we were alive and not injured. So on one side, we had so much to be grateful for. While on the other it was hard to drive out of that town. We decided the best thing to do was to get back to the kids who were with neighbors and try to figure out what to do from there.
    Which is where this email comes in. We don't have the money to get our things back.
    They want $130 for towing and $30 a day for storage. This happened on the 13th so as of today we are needing $440 more than we have now.
    My son-in-law has worked it out with a friend that drives a big truck that tows multiple cars to go and get it for gas money and he wants the motor from the van. A dear friend has helped with $200 that will cover that part. But we still need the $440 to get it out. That is if the money comes today and the weather allows the guys to leave the same day, everyday that total will go up $30.
    I know that is a lot of money for one person to come up with but if everyone could help with a little it could be reached. If any of you could help, We can guarantee to get the money back to you. (including any Western Union Fees) My son-in-law has a job lined up for Bootsy but we have to wait until after the first of the year. By the time he would get a paycheck the amount will be so high we wouldn't be able to do anything about it.
    If there is anything any of you can do please contact us by Noon tomorrow (Monday 24th). We need to take care of this as soon as possible.
    If any of you get this email after that time please call us anyway, we may still need your help.

    Mitakuye Oyasin,
    Bootsy and Mary

    PS After we got here, my daughter got the results of her test.

    From Red Road Awareness.
    A Sundance brother and his wife were in a crash the 13th of Dec. while driving out to Colorado. (Their daughter was having tests for breast cancer which she had had before, and wanted her mom with her.) They were shook up but ok and after the crash, their van was towed away with all of their stuff inside. They were moving and so it is filled to the brim with all their belongings- eye glasses, clothes, cell phone, coats, INCLUDING CEREMONIALS AND CANUPA!! Their daughter and son-in-law scraped the money together to go get their parents (this happened in Missouri) so they are in Colorado now.
    The towing company in Missouri has held the van hostage and is charging them $30.00 per day to store it and WILL NOT let them get anything out of it until the bill is paid.
    They now owe $470.00.

    Red Road Awareness just hung up from law enforcement in Odessa, Missouri (place where this happened) and was told it is within the legal rights of the towing company to keep everything until it is paid off. Again, this is going up $30.00 a day!!

    If there is anyway you can help, PLEASE HELP THEM! You can send money through this paypal account: [email protected] or there is a western union in the town of Ordway, Colorado (KJ Foods store) where you can send a donation.

    I know its Christmas and there is a lot going on and everyone is asking for help these days. Just please, if you can, any little bit will add up!

    Send money in the name of:
    Mary Ridenour
    Western Union Office- 719-267-3593

    The tests for breast cancer were negative! WOPILA!

    Peace to all this Christmas!

    For the people,
    Red Road Awareness

    Last edited by Mato Winyan; 12-24-2007, 12:21 PM.
    "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume

  • #2
    Mato--I'm going to PM you on this--I went through something similar to this with another friend and I will explain. Okay.


    • #3
      Who are these people, and where were they coming from? Have they approached OST for assistance?
      Ipsica Waci
      Wicahpi Eyoyambya Olowan


      • #4
        No...they haven't tried the OST ... they will if this guy won't release their stuff. The tow guy is a non tribal member so that makes it a federal offense to be in possession of their feathers.. so that's how they are going to go about it I guess. He's a member of the White Face family from Wounded Knee. If you need any more info send me a pm.
        "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume


        • #5


          We've gotten some donations in.

          2- $50
          1- $40
          1- $30
          1- $25

          One came in after I sent off $135 + $25 Western Union fee

          We are getting some hope also about getting this taken care of legally.

          Thank you all so much. It really means a lot.
          "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume


          • #6
            Just got another $50 donation!!
            "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume


            • #7
              Latest update.......

              I talked to Mary earlier. She is so thankful and amazed how people are really coming together. She wants me to thank everyone. She also wants me to get the information ( name, amount given and etc) of everyone that contributed and wants paid back. So you can pm me with all the details.

              Exciting news is happening... she is getting some people to help her and are willing to go and help them get their stuff back. They talked to this towing guy and he said he will release their belongings for $240 and the title of their van. She has a pledge from someone for the $240. So they are going out and are hoping this whole thing can be settled.

              They are now making arrangements to get a rental cargo van. They checked on U-Hauls and this was a cheaper route to go. So what they are working on now is getting that money for the rental. Since they don't have a credit card they have to put a $500 deposit down but they do get that back. They are figuring all the gas/food budget. They are planning on taking lots and lots of blankets and sleeping in the van so they don't have to worry about motel bills. (it's a 1,200 mile trip one way) So things are starting to come together. There's still a way to go yet but there is a light at the end of the tunnel now. Please, still keep them in prayer that this nightmare will end soon.

              Thanks for all you've done. You're awesome.
              "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume


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