Annual silent auction to benefit Hopi Educational Endowment Fund

Kachina doll depicting the Snow Maiden by Wilfred Kaye. Dolls are depictions of the katsina spirit, not an actual katsina and are used to teach Hopi children the importance of them in regards to Hopi culture (Photo courtesy of HEEF).

Kachina doll depicting the Snow Maiden by Wilfred Kaye. Dolls are depictions of the katsina spirit, not an actual katsina and are used to teach Hopi children the importance of them in regards to Hopi culture (Photo courtesy of HEEF).

KYKOTSMOVI - The Hopi Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) will hold its annual silent auction in Phoenix on Friday, Feb. 29th at the Phoenix Hilton Garden Inn (4000 N. Central Avenue) at 6:30 p.m.

More than 50 pieces of Hopi art from renowned artists such as Verma "Sonwai" Nequatewa, Delmar Polacca, Duane Maktima and the feature collaborative piece from Clark Tenakhongva and family will be auctioned off to raise money for the fund. Many of the artists will also be on hand to talk to buyers as they showcase their art. In addition, dozens of items will be raffled off throughout the night, including an autographed basketball from Phoenix Suns' player Amare Stoudemire.

"This is your chance to not only get a piece of fabulous Hopi art, but to also support Hopi Education programs," stated LuAnn Leonard, HEEF executive director.

This fund is the only one of its kind among Indian Nations in the country. Since being established by the Hopi Tribal Council in 2000 with a gift of $10 million, the staff, board and Hopi Tribe has raised nearly $7 million in additional dollars with the interest earned from the Fund used to cover educational scholarships and programs for the Hopi people.

To date, more than $4 million in scholarships have been granted to Hopi people. Recent graduate Alyssa Fredericks stated, "The scholarship that I received really helped me just because not only did it lessen my financial burden, it let me enjoy all the other aspects of college life. It allowed me to focus more on my studies. If I didn't have the scholarship then there is no way that I could have given the amount of focus and concentration I would have needed to graduate."

Since its inception, the organization has earned many accolades including "High Honors" from Harvard University's Honoring Nations program. HEEF was also the recipient of the "2007 Outstanding Philanthropic Organization" award from the Northern Arizona Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. This year Gov. Janet Napolitano also appointed HEEF's Executive Director,LuAnn Leonard, to the Arizona Board of Regents. Leonard is the first Native American to serve as a regent.

The HEEF is a 7871 (a) charitable non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible.

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