The inaugural True Sioux Hope Gala raises spirits with a tally of more than $450,000.
Local change-makers and celebs gathered at the Balboa Bay Resort to uplift the Oglala Lakota tribe of Pine Ridge, S.D.—the poorest region in the United States—at the True Sioux Hope Foundation’s first affair. The spirit of the Native American culture permeated the fete’s thoughtful details—from the traditional fare, including frybread and wojapi (a berry sauce), to a performance by the tribe’s drummers. It all inspired altruists to raise more than $450,000 for the group and its beloved land.
Organizers and philanthropists Twila True, who was honored with a Lakota name meaning “Future Helping Woman,” and Donna Pickup welcomed the 350 attendees. Spotted on the scene: actress and activist Julia Ormond, Narcos stars Martina García and Leynar Gomez, Native American actress Tonantzin Carmelo and NFL alum Jim Warne.
With improving the quality of life for the people of Pine Ridge at the forefront of the gala’s mission, former Yugoslavian Prime Minister Milan Panić earned a burst of gratitude with his $30,000 winning bid on a villa in Thailand in the live auction. An applauseworthy moment, indeed. -Allison Mitchell
Photos by John Watkins