KVSC's Gary Cheeseman Raises Money For the American Indian Center at St. Cloud State University
(St. Cloud, MN) St. Cloud State University's Assistant Director of Admissions is undertaking a personal challenge to raise funds for the American Indian Center. Gary Johnson Cheeseman's job entails recruiting and mentoring students, but he's moving far beyond his day to day job responsibilities. On Friday, August 17, he will begin the first leg of his journey just outside of Rapid City, South Dakota. It's a ride that will take him through "Indian country."
Gary Johnson Cheeseman is an Abenaki/Ojibwe/Micmac Indian and he's following a vision that came to him in a dream this spring. "It's a spiritual journey. I chose to start in South Dakota in part because of the American Indian population. My journey will tie together the Plains Indian territory to the Ojibwe territory," Johnson Cheeseman said.
Johnson Cheeseman is accepting both general pledges or donations for each mile he bikes on behalf of three programs at the American Indian Center. "One third of the money raised will go to a capital scholarship campaign, another third will be dedicated to a tutoring program at the American Indian Center, and the final third will be earmarked to help bring cultural and educational American Indian entertainment to St. Cloud," Johnson Cheeseman said. "People have been pledging $50-100, or whatever they can afford to donate."
The preparation for the bike tour has included cycling every other day, running, stretching, and conditioning training. Johnson Cheeseman has some racing experience, "but that was years ago" he states with a smile. His wife Deb will support him on the ride and follow along in a van. The journey will conclude on Sunday, August 26.
Johnson Cheeseman also hosts a weekly radio program on KVSC 88.1FM, St. Cloud State University's educational, community radio station. Anishinabe Inewewin, or the Native American Voice, can be heard every Monday from 5-7p.m. The program is the only locally produced Native American show in Minnesota.
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