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True Sioux in Orange County

Lucio and Irene Martino

The Balboa Bay Resort has a long and storied history in Orange County, but it’s never seen a night like the True Sioux Hope Gala. The inaugural event was hosted by Donna Pickup and Twila True. Orange County entrepreneur True is giving back in an amazing way to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, home to the Oglala Lakota nation of Native Americans, a tribe of which she is a member. Pine Ridge is the poorest place in the U.S., and the tremendous problems created by that poverty are what the True Sioux Foundation is addressing through outreach, lifesaving programs, fundraising and education.

Some 300 OC locals joined members of the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe at the event, which raised some $450,000. Many flew in as guests of the Trues from South Dakota, having never seen the ocean. It was a pleasure to meet many of them, and experience the Sioux  culture via craft, song and dance. It made for a culturally immersive, entertaining and incredibly educational evening. A performance featuring dancers, drummers and singers was a highlight, as was the ceremony at which True was given her Lakota name: “Takatakeya Wawokeya Win,” which means Future Helping Woman. So true.

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