Jodi Rave: Foundation raises money at Blackfeet
"Two bidders, a cowboy and an Indian, quickly drove up the price on a painted buffalo robe Saturday night at the Harvest Moon Ball here.

“Seven thousand, now going eight � who'll give me 11?” asked auctioneer Fred Burow. A blond-haired Rusty Garrett calmly tipped his black cowboy hat to signal he was still in the game. The ballroom audience whooped and clapped their hands. The auctioneer coaxed J.D. Colbert, a Chickasaw/ Choctaw from Denver, Colo., to bid higher.

The man in the black hat from Tucson, Ariz., ended the duel with a $12,000 final bid, prompting a German woman at a nearby table to joyfully wave her arms in the air. It was Angelika Norman, the wife of Darrell Norman, painter of the buffalo robe.

Some 200 people in Glacier Park Lodge punctuated Garrett's bid with wild applause. But he and Colbert were only warming up, as the art auction continued through the night in “the big tree” lodge where 800-year-old cedar and pine poles soar 50 feet to the wood-planked ceiling.

Garrett and his wife Mary were in East Glacier to support dozens of regional and local artists who gathered for the 11th annual Harvest Moon Ball, a project of the Blackfeet Community Foundation, which is working to build a $1 million endowment for community projects.

So far, about $400,000 has been earned through the art auction. Artwork from Saturday's sales raked in $95,000, marking the most successful ball yet for the foundation.

“It's an incredible event for the Blackfeet, and the community, to have a gathering like this in a setting like this,” said Byron Mallott, director of the Sealaska Corp. in Juneau, Alaska. “There's a lot of fun that goes into the serious business of raising money.”

Founders of the Blackfeet Community Foundation once wondered how they could fundraise for community projects on the Blackfeet Reservation, where unemployment rates can reach 80 percent. The task seemed daunting."

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Auction reveals Blackfeet spirit (The Missoulian 10/2)

Relevant Links:
Jodi Rave - http://www.missoulian.com/jodirave

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