WE ARE BUFFALO GALS
Gals with ~ Grit, Guts and Glimmering Grace
We draw on the pioneering spirit of the Gals whose shoulders we stand upon to move opportunities for a better way forward! We have vision, persistence and tenacity. We are committed to taking care of one another, standing up for one another, supporting our dreams hopes and goals!
We are your mothers, sisters, aunties, grandmothers, wives, daughters and your friends. We began as a group of gritty gals gathering after a few too many pots of coffee - and not nearly enough herbal tea, scotch or wine. We had a vision to make the world a better place, and we started a stampede.
Our thundering herd of Buffalo Gals pushes one another onward, tirelessly pressing forward together to make a sustained difference.
We touch the lives of men, women, elders and future generations. We are inspiring hope and cultivating a pipeline for success.
Together we’ll make this world the place we dream for our daughters and sons. A place where they can dream their dreams, envision solutions and be proud of the legacy we have left.
— Gutsy Gals —
Email us and tell us why Buffalo Gals is for you, we would love to feature you here...
Founding member, Buffalo Gals - Black Hills
”In February 2015, I met Annie Loyd for the second time at a WAVI resource committee meeting. Jenny Telechan was also in attendance. As chair of the committee, I wanted to brainstorm a fund raiser. Within the matter of roughly 30 minutes, the first ”Round Up” was born. There wasn't a long drawn out discussion in the logistics. There wasn't another meeting to follow up that meeting and another to follow up that all in the hopes to get a plan solidified. We worked together and got it done in a way only women can. A few weeks, later at the Speak Easy in the basement of Murphy's, over a 100 women converged, all because we had a purpose and conviction behind the event's message. I was in awe of the power of the women who attended, from all walks of life, difference occupations, different passions, different talents and together there was an undeniable energy that could not be forced or duplicated. I was hooked. Drawn to the energy, to the passion of those around me, to the opportunity to surround myself with this incredible diversity and knowledge. Fast forward a few months and a few events later, I was looking at my10-year-old daughter during dinner one night and thought ”Buffalo Girls.” If I felt this way as an adult, imagine what an immense influence it would be for her, to submerge her into this experience and opportunity at her age. To witness the greatness of the women that are our community. I now truly believe there isn't anything we can't accomplish if we simply join as a tribe.”
Founding Council, Buffalo Gals - Black Hills
”There's a strong sense of belonging for me when it comes to the Buffalo Gals. I can never put my finger on it, but it's there and it's palpable. There is magic when we celebrate each other's achievements, when we give each other the space to shine in our own way during the introductions, and when we work hard to lift each other up outside of the roundups. I lead a very busy life, just like every other Buffalo Gal, but it's a priority for me to show up and to let other women know that they are not alone in inhabiting a man's profession. That's me, day in and day out, being in the design and construction field. Being a Buffalo Gal has connected me with other women in my career field, giving me peers I didn't know were out there. It has also brought a lot of light to women who are doing amazing things in our community and that I wasn't aware of. My heroes, sisters and peers are all Buffalo Gals.”
Buffalo Gals - Fellow
On June 9, 1972, Deb flew into the Rapid City, to awake the next morning to the most devastating flood in the city's history. That day she decided to stay in Rapid City to help rebuild and make it her home.
Since that time she has been an employee, volunteer, business owner, fundraiser, performer, wife, mother and invested citizen.
With 25 years of experience in advertising and marketing, she has developed a reputation of trust and dependability in the business community.
In 2013, she accepted the position as Development Director for the Rapid City Arts Council. During the past 3 years, she: wrote numerous grants; developed sponsorships for exhibits, education programs and performing arts program at the Dahl Arts Center; developed the Emerging Performing Artist program; facilitated school outreach; and maintained the membership of the Rapid City Arts Council. She is also a Blues performer and the President and Founder of the Black Hills Blues Society.
Deb believes in the innate power and importance of Women to effect positive change in our World.
Maurine A. Lilleskov, PhD, MPH, CHES
”I am originally from Kenya and have always had a very strong passion for the growth of women in all facets of life. I found in the Buffalo Gals community a place in which it was incredible to be different because it was celebrated, appreciated and encouraged. The energy at the first gathering was just breathtaking and while this may seem strange, it is so motivating when you meet women in other venues and they refer to you by name and remember something about you that they relay to another! It means real relationships are being created and real bonds are being built and something bigger is yet to come and I don’t want to miss it!”
"February of 2016 I found myself in a rut. I was just going through the motions with my day to day life of being a mom, an employee, friend, girlfriend and I knew that I needed to find something to get involved with. I had grown as a person over the last few years and that person wanted to be a part of something, I just didn’t know what, or where to go, or who to talk to. I was compelled to attend the International Womens Day conference, and I’m so glad I did. I was inspired by the speakers and other women that I met that day. At the end of the conference, I knew in my heart that I had to get involved with this group. I was so happy when I learned that they meet after 5 or on weekends! As I began attending meetings it didn’t take long to realize I’d found my place and my people. Together we are ALL amazing women in the community doing amazing things and inspiring each other to do amazing things. I gained such self confidence, a sense of purpose, a sense of self and an incredible tribe of women when I made the decision to become a part of this group. Each day is its own battle but I now know that I have a support system of women that will be there to help me get through those battles. I am so incredibly blessed to call these women friends and I look forward to working hand in hand with them to create the vision we all see as our future."
Founding Council of the Buffalo Gals
”I have always had a desire to help, encourage and support others, especially women. Relationships are also very important to me. Buffalo Gals (BG) gives me the opportunity to do just that plus be a part of something bigger than myself and accomplish more. I have the chance to impact my community through donations and learning of ways to volunteer and support organizations and events. And because BG is non political, I am part of something that focuses on what brings us together and unites us as women rather than our differences. Also, I am placed with women to encourage and support me AND have a herd of girlfriends all at the same time!”
Marketing Strategist-Creative Director
”I saw a bunch of Facebooks items about Buffalo Gals before going and when I did attend my first Buffalo Gals event it was so energizing, unconventional, and like nothing else. I felt good being there, hearing from everyone about their interests, passions and the connections I felt through the sharing of those passions was amazing. I knew I wanted to be apart of anything that has this kind of impact, in some fashion.
I love challenging conventional wisdom and I want to be making a difference in the world. I have imagined doing the work to make that difference with an amazing group of women, right here in my community and through Buffalo Gals I can.
I believe that women working together - linked, informed and educated - can do anything.”
I returned to Rapid City in 2015 after caring for my mom in Idaho. After living in another community for two years, I was just so in love with the Black Hills when I returned. I joined several organizations to get involved in the community. Through those organizations, I talked to so many women who also love our community, but long for change in income levels, education policies and equality issues.
We all long for change, but so many of us have no idea how to make our voices heard or even where to start. Buffalo Gals is group of strong, powerful women from all walks of life who share the vision. We no longer feel alone and ineffective. We have found our tribe! We are a sisterhood who believes we can all be the change we wish to see in the world, and all are welcome!
Layla, age 9
”I love to make friends with everyone. No one should ever be lonely. I don't want anyone to be mean or sad. So many girls are stepping out of the shadows and making new friends. Hanging out with other people is better than being alone. You don't have to pretend to be popular. You can just be yourself.”
Carol, Retired English Teacher
”I belong here. I see so many women here that I already knew. Some of them I haven't seen for 30 years. These women are so positive and willing to
work for a good future.”
Nancy, Community Activist
”This is a positive energy field in our environment. We are making lasting connections with other people. I am glad men are invited to some of the events, because they need to know who we are too.”
Sarah, IT Analyst
”I was new to the area and wanted to meet new people. I was looking for a chance to connect and meet other women. In Buffalo Gals, I found such a diverse group of women who have always made me feel welcome. This is a place where women come together to be empowered.”
Our Community Development Model
is creating a system of women dedicated to bridging needs with resources to build a unique, yet proven, formula for regenerating individuals and fortify our community.
Buffalo Gals, a program of The Fusion Foundation, utilizes the Fusion's creative model of emergence. Monthly, we create space in an inspiring environment. We focus on presenting speakers with an inspirational story or message and connection to work in the community by highlighting local non-profits or community efforts. We nourish this network in many ways, but most essentially through creating opportunities for learning and sharing experiences through our monthly newsletter, social media and our website. Emergence is the magical energy from the connections individuals create and develop.
Our recipe includes attention to nine specific Points of Focus:
1. Engage: generosity of spirit, compassion.
2. Inclusion: sharing stories, presence, unbridled creativity.
3. Kinship: a place to belong, a place to call home.
4. Knowledge: potential, intuition, cracking the code, asking why.
5. Experience: been there done that, expanding comfort zone, risk taking
6. Wisdom: integration of experience & knowledge.
7. Recognition/Celebrate: knowing we have value, daring to dream.
8. Opportunities: asking for help, teaching, power of curiosity,
9. Champion: lifting up, meeting gals where they are, illuminating strengths.