The Lakota Runners and fellow members of the Oglala Lakota tribe accept a proclamation from Assemblywoman Malliotakis (right) outside of her Staten Island district office.
Today, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn/Staten Island) presented a proclamation on behalf of the New York State Assembly to the Lakota Runners, a Native American running team from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, in recognition of their assistance to the Staten Island community following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.
I will never forget the selfless volunteer work of the runners who had trained long and hard for the 2012 Marathon, only to have the event canceled due to Hurricane Sandy. The help offered by the Lakota Runners was even more heartfelt because I know the difficult circumstances with which they must contend at home on the reservation, said Malliotakis. When the race was called off, instead of dejectedly heading back across the country, the Lakota Runners immediately looked for a way to help. Staten Island will be forever grateful.
The Lakota Runners are a group of five Native Americans from the Oglala Lakota tribe residing on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The Pine Ridge Reservation is one of the poorest places in the Western Hemisphere. The team was formed under the aegis of One Spirit, an all-volunteer organization that provides food, clothing and sponsorship to the Oglala Lakota tribe. Participation in the ING New York Marathon in 2012 was supposed to be a way to help bring awareness to the plight of the people living on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
When the Marathon was cancelled, the runners knew they had to help the people of Staten Island. The five along with their coach donned masks, grabbed trash bags, and started shoveling up debris. New York press took notice of this act of selflessness, with a story in the New York Daily News. To the team members, helping those in need was only an extension of how they would aid someone back home.