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7Everyday Hero honors Colorado's American Indian history

Posted at 10:56 AM, Sep 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-23 12:56:54-04

THORNTON, Colo. — Lynne Holman can easily sum up why she volunteers her time year-round in preparation for Denver's American Indian Festival.

"Seeing the change in people and seeing what a difference this seems to make," Holman said.

The festival not only connects her to her community, but also a piece of her history.

"My father, who was a full-blood Cherokee, was killed in 1945 in Alaska," Holman said. "He fell out of a fishing boat and they never found him."

That's why, each year, she pours her heart and soul into the Denver American Indian Festival. It's a chance to honor and celebrate Colorado's diverse Native American community.

"She likes what she does," said Carolyn Hayes, who also volunteers for the festival. "She’s good at it. She’s an organizer and detail-oriented and she has the passion to see it through to not give up."

Denver's American Indian Festival attracts more than 80 tribes, 48 vendors and features a kids zone and cultural center. More importantly, it helps connect under-served native people to resources in the community.

"I work with the Westminster Rotary to get the computer systems for kids," Holman said. "Our graduation rate with natives is less than 50% and that’s a lot because they don’t have the rights kind of equipment."

Making a difference through connection, understanding and love — it's why Lynne Holman is a true example of a 7Everyday Hero.

"Truthfully, I do believe if the whole world lived like Native Americans we would not have war, we would not have strife, we would not have pettiness and bickering and all of that. The natives just don’t participate in that," Holman said.

The Denver American Indian Festival is Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sept. 29 from noon until 6 p.m. at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church at 3960 E. 128th Avenue in Thornton. The event is free.

Molly Hendrickson anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. She also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Molly on Facebook here and Twitter here. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.