Building community connections with the ‘We Care Fair’

Leela Rosa and Stacy Oberly make personalized tiles with Kasey Corriea of Dancing Spirit Gallery Community Arts Center.
SunUte Community Center’s Fitness Director, Abel Velasquez watches and assists Sayde Hendriks with their cornhole game at the We Care Fair.
Hannah Horman from the Ignacio Community Library helps some community kids get more information about what the library offers to youth at the We Care Fair held at SunUte Community Center, Wednesday, Sept. 19.
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe and various departments within the Tribe held a youth and family services fair, the We Care Fair, held this year at the SunUte Community Center, Wednesday, Sept. 19. Their mission: to educate and provide information about programs and services that exist for all youth and families on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

This community welcoming event was open to everyone who is in search of help, or who were curious about what services our tight knit community has to offer its members.

Although sponsored by the Tribe, different organizations and businesses within La Plata County set up booths, and were able to offer their services to the tribal membership and to the Ignacio community as a whole.

“The fair was meant to create a bridge between both the services in the community and the community members,” Precious Collins, Executive Assistant to Tribal Services and head of the We Care Fair committee said. “There’s a lot of services, not just here in our community, but in the county. We wanted to try to bring all of that to one location for our community members to check out”.

The thing about getting community and youth services together in one spot is that there is bound to be relationship and community connections. From the start, the We Care Fair’s goals have been to reach the community and to build organizational and business relationships.

“We all worked together and a lot of good organizations showed up,” Program Manager for Shining Mountain Health and Wellness, Morgann Box said. Box and Shining Mountain Health and Wellness were part of the committee who planned the fair, as well as being an organization who participated in the event.

Appealing to community members, the We Care Fair brought several different outreach programs such as, the Four Corners Rainbow Youth Center and San Juan Basin Health — who are both big advocates for our community, as well as trying to bring suicide prevention awareness to Ignacio. Additionally, some tribal services like Vocational Rehab and the Tribe’s Social Services Division, were involved. Social Services held a raffle drawing for a bushel of fresh green chile.

The food for the event was catered by Southern Ute tribal member business, Rez Girls, which is owned and operated by Estelle Monte. Monte is no stranger to community relations and connections, catering various events for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe as well as the Ignacio community.

“A great big thank you and love to all who helped make this event possible. To all those services that had a booth and to everyone who attended, without you, this event would not have been possible. Also thank you to Tribal Council and the Executive Office for the support,” Collins said.






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