By Rob Schmidt
The water station was managed by the American Indian Community Council, a nonprofit that serves LA County’s large Native population. AICC’s mission is to strengthen the wellness of the region’s Native children, families and communities. Among its initiatives are developing youth leadership skills and coordinating the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Two AICC board members—Shawn Imitates-Dog, vice president, and Willie Sandoval, treasurer—entered the marathon. The organization used their participation as an opportunity to raise funds. Launching a campaign on the crowd-sourcing site CrowdRise.com, they asked friends to donate water, cups and of course money.
On race day, March 17, a couple dozen AICC volunteers arrived with loads of bottled water and cups. They weren’t sure what to expect, but found themselves on their feet the whole time, cheering the runners and getting cheered in turn.
For more on the subject, see Idle No More, Hollywood Style.
Below: "In foreground, left to right: AICC volunteers Vivian Garcia (Cherokee), Kathryn Young (Yakama), and Destiny Rosete (Northern Cheyenne) offer cups of water to Los Angeles Marathon runners. Behind them, Yazzie Bedonie (Navajo) and Andrew Magalenes (Hawaiian) offer loud encouragement."