Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

The Akwesasne Basket Drive and Mountain of Toys


‘Akwesasne Most Wanted.’ Bail money was donated to Mountain of Toys. L-R: Hawi Thomas, Wallace ‘Beets’ Thompson, Matt Rourke, Casey Swamp and Todd Papineau. Photo by Deb Cook

The Akwesasne Basket Drive and Mountain of Toys Director Sara Herne is pleased to announce a very successful year, raising over $35,000.00. After months of work, including the gathering of donations of toys, canned goods and monetary donations, it all comes together to make this holiday season that much brighter and better for those less fortunate and struggling financially. This is Ms. Herne’s first year taking over supervision and organization of the entire event. In past years, Sesir Herne acted as Director and she was on hand throughout all events to assist whenever needed. Sesir Herne stated she was very pleased with the younger generation taking over the reins with their strong work ethic and organizational skills. While the event takes place over a number of days, the volunteers start early in September organizing and tweaking each part of the entire event to make it better and in turn helping more and more families.

The overall amount raised from the silent auction, the pancake breakfast, the lasagna dinner and the infamous “Akwesasne’s Most Wanted” was over $35,000.00. This money is used to purchase additional toys and for the Basket; canned and dry goods, apples and oranges, potatoes, onions and a $20.00 gift card to be used at our local Hannaford’s grocery store. On Friday, December 14, 2012 the organizers held the pancake breakfast, lasagna dinner and opened the cell doors to “Akwesasne’s Most Wanted Jail” at the Hogansburg Fire Hall, literally holding hostage a number of prominent people from Akwesasne in “jail.” In order for “Akwesasne’s Most Wanted” to be released, individual community members, local organizations including MCA and SRMT various departments and local businesses posted “bail” to have the “Most Wanted” released. The total amount raised from posting bail for the “Akwesasne’s Most Wanted” was $17,272.00. The pancake breakfast and lasagna dinner was donated by the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino and cooked by volunteers at the Fire Hall. Monetary donations from community organizations, MCA and SRMT various departments, local businesses and individuals made up the remainder. Donations from $1.00 to $5,000.00 were made to the Basket Drive; please check out the Akwesasne Basket Drive and Mountain of Toys website to see additional photos and a listing of every donation made.

The Akwesasne Basket Drive and Mountain of Toys would like to take this time to express their sincere gratitude for each and every donation, including all volunteers. Each year local businesses generously donate to make this all a success. All meals for volunteers were donated by the Twin Leaf Express, as well as all cardboard boxes for the basket itself. Brass Horse Grill donated a large number of toys and innumerable items for young teens receiving gifts. Tarbell Management Group freed a number of “jail mates” by making several large donations to the Akwesasne’s Most Wanted. But most importantly it takes hundreds of individuals, community members of Akwesasne, like yourself, to make this Basket Drive a success.

Here is just a short-listing of volunteers and they do apologize if anyone was not included. List of volunteers: Alice McDonald, Francis, Dottie Lopes, Jack Rogolef, Trent McDonald, Leona Barnes, Gus Jacobs, Ryan King, Steevi King, Kelly Jacobs, Myra Lafrance, Tiffany Thompson, Cathy Stowell, Pat Jacobs, Margie Tatlock, Breanne Helle, Shereese Thomas, Margie Skidders, Tawit Arquette, Carol Smoke, Melanie Musgrove, Dan Musgrove, Laurie Dumas, Veronica Tatlock, Joe Sawatis, Sky Sharrow, Vicky Phillips, Tsionatiio Laughing, Curtis White, Tavis, and Caroline Bigtree.

These generous and “brave” people donated their time while being held in “jail” in Akwesasne’s Most Wanted: Laurie Connors, Wallace Thompson, Akwesasne Mohawk Police, Joanne Jocko, Chanel Cook, Casey Swamp, Swamp’s Performance, Tisha Thompson, Hawi Thomas, Tara Tarbell, Indigenous Spa, Todd Papineau, Akwesasne Mohawk Casino, Noelle Connors, Chris Herne, SRMT Chief Ron LaFrance, Emily Lauzon, Tom Messner, Jerry Swamp, Julie St. Denis, Tracie Cook, Dana Cook, Matt Rourke, St. Regis Mohawk Police, Jessica Jock Cree, Robert White and Ienonkwahawis.

The Silent Auction held on Friday, December 14, 2012 raised $3875.00.

The New York Yankees Jersey signed by Johnny Damon and donated by Harvey Herne was won by Casey Swamp. An 8.5 inch flip down LCD monitor with built in DVD was donated by Swamp’s Performance and won by Leona Cook. The 75 pc socket set with $10 gift certificate was donated by Swamp’s Performance and won by Jean Square.

Matted & Framed Print was donated by Jordan Thompson and won by Maggie Rourke Bay. The Hawk Print and Card Set was donated by Kaheriskhe Henry and won by Katsitsiioni Fox. A 1 Month Membership & iPod Nano Touch with Arm Band was donated by Akwesasne Basket Drive and Caveman Strong of Cornwall and won by Buggo. A 1 Month Membership & iPod Nano Touch with Arm Band donated by Akwesasne Basket Drive and Caveman Strong of Cornwall and won by Joann Swamp.

The Pampered Puppy Basket was donated by Akwesasne Puppy Style Dog Biscuits and won by Atohnwa Rourke. A Large beaded barrette was donated by Tree Top Boutique and won by Jaimee Square. Two 1 Month Memberships were donated by Caveman Strong of Cornwall and won by Toya Rourke. A Large Christmas tree was donated by The Kids and won by Holly Hart. Hats & 2 certificates for riding lessons were donated by Lucky Seven and won by Danielle Thompson. The Wine & Cheese Basket was donated by Ray and Sesir Herne and won by Maday Herne. The Board Games were won by Irene Cook. A 51” Giga Ball donated by Sesir and Ray Herne was won by Danielle Thompson.

Native Art Plates donated by an Anonymous person were won by Vicki Herne.

Purse & Fingerless gloves donated by Tavian Caddy Distributions were won by Edge Smoke. The M12 Cordless 3/8” drill driver kit donated by Akwesasne Basket Drive was won by Thelbert Bigtree. The JobMAX reciprocating saw donated by Akwesasne Basket Drive was won by Edge Smoke. A Pneumatic Multi-Tool Starter kit donated by Akwesasne Basket Drive was won by Thelbert Bigtree. Wolf Painting donated by Terry Leaman was won by Thelbert Bigtree. The Eagle Clock donated by Terry Leaman was won by Thelbert Bigtree. The Paint Set donated by Sherwin Williams was won by Charlene Thomas. A Gold Turtle Bracelet donated by Peet’s Jewelers of Massena was won by Margie Skidders. A Gold Men’s Pocket Watch donated by Peet’s Jewelers was won by Maday Herne. The Reindeer display & family Alight at Night package donated by Upper Canada Village of Morrisburg was won by Irene Cook. A Desk, Computer Chair and Shelving donated by Office Max of Massena was won by Sue Rourke.

Movie Ticket Basket (2 adults/4 children) donated by Akwesasne Basket Drive was won by Debbie Solomon. The Mirror/Candle Stand donated by an anonymous person was won by Casey Swamp. The Giant Wreath donated by North Racquette Greenery was won by Carolyn Francis.

The Christmas tree, Kissing Ball, Centerpiece, & Wreath donated by Cook’s Greenery was won by Amber Montour. The RipZone Youth M winter jacket donated by The Squire Shop of Cornwall was won by Debbie Solomon. One week of gardening/tools & tree donated by Sesir Herne was won by Leona Barnes. The Date Night Package donated by Akwesasne Mohawk Casino, Cook’s Greenery and Luxury Limo Service was won by Mike Swamp. The Tea Basket donated by Iris Herne was won by Barbara Lazore. The Lottery Tree donated by Akwesasne Basket Drive was won by Debbie Solomon.

The Homemade Hats donated by Nation Knits were won by Julie Jacobs. The Traditional Medicines Painting donated by the Native North American Travelling College was won by Debbie Solomon. A Calendar & 2 Framed Prints were won by Dorothy Smoke. The Authentic Coach Canvas Tote donated by Margie Skidders was won by Amber McDonald.

Standing Alone Autographed Book donated by Nikaiataa Skidders was won by Margie Skidders. Divalissa’s Treats donated by Melissa Connors were won by Amber McDonald.

Natasha Smoke-Santiago original prints were won by Maggie Rourke-Bay. Hiawatha Belt Cutting Board donated by Shelby and Ryan Adams was won by Kathy Lazore. The Three Sisters Painting was won by Lance Delisle. Original Artwork donated by Edna Cook was won by Joyce King Mitchell. The Sky Light Framed Print donated by Thanaokate and Amber Montour was won by Maggie Rourke Bay. Purses donated by Amie and Brian Barnes were won by Rosemary Thompson. The Cheese and Crackers basket donated by Julie and Justin was won by Thelbert Bigtree. Lacrosse sticks donated by Eileen Cook were won by Tiff Burns. A Brown Embroidered Jacket donated by Sesir Herne was won by Jean Square. The Bio Life Pendant donated by Corrine Johnson was won by Tsionatiio.


United Methodist Church


Barney, Viola and Sandra Rourke

Arnold P

Florence Phillips

Twin Leaf

Encompass Construction and Design

Jenny Boots

Diane Conners

Julie White

Akwesasne Child and Family Services

Betty David and Family

Country Kitchen

Dave Mainville and Brass Horse

MCA Human Resource Office

Walter Benedict

Charles Laffin

Mona V

Alan Garrow

Staff of TLC Country Kitchen

St. Regis Mohawk School


Akwesasne Boys and Girls Club

Abraham Benedict

Akwesasne Mohawk Bingo Palace

Akwesasne Freedom School

Three Nations Bridge

Brave Packing

Janice Brown

Beatrice White

Strictly Honda

Tom Messner

Caroline Francis

Leanne and Steve Jock

B and Barbara Gray

Rose Oakes

Julie Jacobs

Swamp’s Performance

Indian Time Newspaper

St. Regis Mohawk Health Services

Mera Faubert

Frenchie’s Chevrolet

Mary Arquette

Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

Janet Terrance

Becky Smoke

Truck Stop # 9

Charlene Thomas

Misty Tarbell, Kim White and Buck ‘The Wild Child’ Cook broadcasting at the Mountain of Toys. Photo by Deb Cook

Randy Jock

Lawrence Swamp

Tehnonsakahnion Thompson


Hometown Auto’s Vivian Compton

Tammy Conners

Chelsea Francis & BJ Swamp

Nataya Delormier

Vaughn Aldrich

Alexander Bero


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