We are very excited to share that CYD CIMMIYOTTI will be dancing for Crow’s Shadow for the 2020 DANCING WITH YOUR PENDLETON STARS! This event is a popular fundraiser based on the Dancing with the Stars TV Show—where a local “star” gets partnered with a professional ballroom dancer for a dance-off. Each local celebrity picks a charity to fundraise for, with donations heading to their respective non-profit organizations. The host organization, CAPECO (Community Action Program of East Central Oregon) organizes the event and receives event ticket monies. The winner is determined by their fundraising total ($1 = 1 vote), their dance score, audience votes, and judging on the night of the event. Last year the Pendleton Center for the Arts raised $13,000 for PCA and then won the additional $5,000 grand prize purse! Donations are tax-deducible and CAPECO will furnish tax receipts. The event completely sold out last year–so buy your tickets early and donate now to help Crow’s Shadow win!
PENDLETON, Oregon – Cyd Cimmiyotti will be dancing for Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts at the 2020 edition of Dancing with Your Pendleton Stars on April 17 at the Vert Auditorium. Now in its sixth year, this popular fundraiser is based on the Dancing with the Stars TV Show—where a local “star” is chosen to get partnered with a professional ballroom dancer for a dance competition. Each local celebrity picks a charity to fundraise for, with donations heading to their respective non-profit organizations. The event is hosted by CAPECO (Community Action Program of East Central Oregon) who organizes the event and receives ticket monies. The winner is determined by the dancers’ fundraising total ($1 = 1 vote), their dance score, audience votes, and judging on the night of the event. Last year the Pendleton Center for the Arts raised $13,000 for PCA and then won the additional $5,000 grand prize purse! Show your support by attending the event or donating to your favorite contestant and non-profit.
“We had some very excited board members when they heard about Cyd Cimmiyotti and her sister Shannon Cimmiyotti Collins wanting to do this for Crow’s Shadow. The Dancing with Your Pendleton Stars event has been gaining momentum and is a wonderful opportunity for local folks to find out about a great organization in their own backyard.” said Karl Davis, Crow’s Shadow Executive Director.
Pendleton born and raised, Cyd Cimmiyotti has spent much of her adult life in Montana but maintains deep connections to her hometown. She is the daughter of Paul and Ann Cimmiyotti, founders of Cimmiyotti’s Steak House (now Virgil’s at Cimmiyotti’s), who opened the iconic Pendleton restaurant in 1959. True to her Umatilla River Valley heritage she grew up riding horses with her father–an avid horseman and rodeo contestant himself–who taught her to ride horses as a child. Paul Cimmiyotti was inducted into the Round-Up Hall of Fame in 2000, following more than 30 years of service including time as a Director and Grand Marshall. The Cimmiyotti family has participated in a full range of civic events over the decades with a particular commitment to the Pendleton Round-Up.
Cyd’s competitive streak served her well during her time at Pendleton High School where she was the 1979 State Champion for the 200-meter hurdles. In college, she continued running at the University of Oregon for their Track and Field team. A few years later she was crowned the 1983 Round-Up Queen. For the uninitiated, the Round-Up court is comprised of skilled horsewomen; the event is known for its “Grand Entry” wherein each member of the court gallops into the arena at full speed, jumping over a rail at either end of the field and looping around the track all while holding one hand steadily aloft waving to the crowd. The Princesses and Queens are highly-poised ambassadors and cowgirls, carrying on a tradition started in 1910 right here in Pendleton, when the Round-Up was the first event anywhere to crown a rodeo queen.
Perpetually attracted to art and dance, Cyd’s love of the Pendleton area includes the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) and the array of art and culture exemplified there. She has many happy memories visiting with friends and Tribal Members in the Tipi Village during the Round-Up. Cyd and her husband currently live in Montana where they celebrate the Big Sky of the American West and the richness of tradition in small communities.
“Cyd is Pendleton royalty and has a wide network of friends. Crow’s Shadow has sent works to the Smithsonian, to the Library of Congress, to the Whitney Museum of Art, but I suspect there are a lot of folks she knows that probably have never heard of our organization–this is a fabulous chance to raise awareness locally. It is a win-win for everyone involved.” said Davis.
Cyd jumped at this chance to fundraise for Crow’s Shadow, saying “I will dance proudly so that young artists from the CTUIR may continue to flourish through Crow’s Shadow.” She says “It weaves together so many things that I care about–my childhood memories, my pride in Pendleton, and it supports a charity that I really believe in.”
People in the area are encouraged to buy event tickets, which supports CAPECO–including their food bank and housing initiatives–and people from further afield can participate by voting for their favorite contestant through tax-deductible contributions. CAPECO keeps a small processing fee and forwards the money raised by each dancer to their respective non-profit after the event.
Dancing with Your Pendleton Stars will take place on April 17, at 7:00 pm at the Vert Auditorium. All 840 tickets sold out last year; to purchase tickets or donate visit pendletonlove.com/dwyps-2020. Donations can also be mailed to DWYPS C/O CAPECO, 721 SE 3rd Street Suite D, Pendleton, OR 97801. Make checks payable to “CAPECO” with “Crow’s Shadow” on the memo line, additional information can be found on the website above or by calling the CAPECO office at 541-276-1926.
On Tuesday, March 10th Virgil’s at Cimmiyotti’s Restaurant will contribute 10% of proceeds from all regular menu items towards Cyd’s fundraising efforts. Cyd will be present throughout the evening; the restaurant is open from 4:00–10:00 pm. Friends and supporters are invited to say hello to Cyd, enjoy a meal, and check out some of the historic Pendleton photos and Round-Up memorabilia lining the restaurant walls. Virgil’s at Cimmiyotti’s Restaurant is located at 137 S. Main Street, Pendleton, OR 97801, call 541-276-7711 to make a reservation.