By Michael J. ARVIZU
St. George’s Episcopal Church in La Cañada hosts a Music for Charity concert at 7:30 p.m. on April 20 benefitting the Red Shirt Project, a nonprofit organization that each summer sends young adult volunteers on a mission and work camp to support the Oglala Lakota tribe at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
The concert will feature performances by violinist Kirstin Fife, tenor Daniel Chaney, and St. George’s Episcopal Church music director and pianist/organist Connie Grisham. The concert will also be dedicated to the late Deane Winant, a longtime St. George’s member who served as a volunteer for the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and Red Shirt Project.
Considered one of the poorest tribes in the United States, the Oglala Lakota tribe receives assistance from the Red Shirt Project in the form of young adult volunteers from churches and other parts of the Anglican community from all over the United States. The young adults travel to the reservation in the summer for two weeks to serve whatever needs the tribe may have.
“They tell us what is it they need, whether it’s a new ball field or a shelter,” said Grisham, who also curates the Music for Charity series at St. George’s. “We communicate with them. The volunteers physically appear there and spend time with them and work on some project the tribe decides they need, can commit to, and is within reach.”
A few of the volunteers who go on the summer trip are members of St. George, said Grisham.
The Red Shirt project was started by former St. George Episcopal priest Rev. Robert Two Bulls, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe (now director of Indian Work for the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota), and the Rev. Michael Cunningham, rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Lompoc, Calif.
Cards made by Lakota children will be available for sale. Copies of Fife’s CD, “Pieces of My Heart” will be on sale for $15; $10 of each sale will go to support the Red Shirt Project.
Admission to the concert is free. Donation baskets will be available for guests to drop donations in. Checks can be made out to St. George’s; put “Red Shirt Indian Project” in the memo line.
St. George’s Episcopal Church is at 808 Foothill Blvd. in La Caada.
For more information, call the church at (818) 790-3323.
For more information on the Red Shirt Project, visit www.redshortproject.org.