BROOKLYN, NY – Brooklyn tattoo shop Eight of Swords recently announced plans to host a fundraiser benefitting Lakota students from the Wounded Knee District School (WKDS) on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge reservation. The event, called The Warriors’ Fund, is slated for Friday, March 6th at 7:00 PM and will showcase original artwork from over fifty of the country’s top-notch tattooers, including veteran Scott Sylvia of San Francisco’s iconic Black Heart Tattoo, Timothy Hoyer, known for his decidedly non-tattoo style oil paintings, and Justin Weatherholtz from King’s Avenue, one of New York’s best-known shops owned by internationally recognized tattooer Mike Rubendall.
The WKDS serves 134 students ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade. Reservation schools throughout the country are often geographically isolated, contend with a severe lack of funding, and have some of the highest dropout rates in the nation. But one of the most immediate issues facing the students at the WKDS is hunger. While every student qualifies for free meals during school, the need is greater at home.
Newly-appointed principal Alice Phelps has made arrangements with Feeding America in Rapid City for a monthly food distribution for reservation families. Unfortunately, the need at home is more than they can handle. With only a single convenience store on the reservation and the nearest grocery store a staggering 80 miles away, Phelps started a food pantry that she runs out of the school for families that are the most in need. That’s what The Warriors’ Fund is looking to stock.
About the Organizers
The Warriors’ Fund is being organized by Patrick Sullivan, a Brooklyn bar tender, along with tattooers Dave C. Wallin and Betty Rose, Eight of Swords’ owner and manager, respectively. Wallin, a Dallas native, has been tattooing for twenty-three years, with over half of them spent in New York. He opened Eight of Swords in 2011. Betty Rose is a ten year veteran of the business and began working at Eight of Swords in 2013. She has since helped organize previous events and is the creator of LadyTattooers.com, an online community spotlighting women in the tattoo industry.