Dell Rapids Day of Giving – December 1st
SouthDakotaGives.org has provided a platform for nonprofits across the state of South Dakota to raise awareness for their individual organizations and promote a one day state wide fundraiser to help achieve each nonprofits goals which are focused on providing several unique services within their communities. This South Dakota Day of Giving overlaps with the global generosity celebration of #GivingTuesday also held this year on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020. Dell Rapids has 8 local nonprofit organizations taking part in South Dakota’s Day of Giving, several of them for the first time!
“SouthDakotaGives.org can make it possible for all these groups to continue service to Dell Rapids…,” City of Dell Rapids Mayor and Dell Rapids Lions Club President, Tom Earley continued to share, “Service to our community is primary to the Dell Rapids Lions Club. The generosity of our community in supporting Lions Club fundraisers enables our club to provide assistance and support to community members in need.” Some of the Dell Rapids Lion Club programs you might be familiar with are their Eye Glass Collection, Aluminum Can Collection, Cub Scout Derby, Scholarship Awards, Meat Raffles, and Pancake Breakfast events. You can learn more about the Lions Club efforts to support sight conservation through their efforts to supply glasses to those in need as well as vision screenings and diabetes screenings throughout the Dell Rapids and surrounding areas.
Another local participant, The Sioux River Red Rock Trail organization, is a cooperative effort between a committee of local residents and the City of Dell Rapids which has focused its efforts over the last several years to creating an outdoor recreational trail. Their current fundraising efforts are focused on extending the trail throughout Dell Rapids along Old Hwy 77 from 4th St to 15th street to make a safer pathway for pedestrians and bicyclists. “The Dell Rapids community has a great history of coming together to make things happen--the recreational trail, flood relief, help for individual families, the museum, amenities in the park, community events--the list goes on and on. SouthDakotaGives.org provides an easy way for everyone to chip in. By building up group resources, these projects can continue to make our small town a better place to live,” shared by Linsey Duffy, Sioux River Red Rock Trail Committee Leader.
The Dell Rapids nonprofit, Dells Elves, help raise money for the children of the Dell Rapids community to provide assistance to their families and to ensure a Merry Christmas for all. “Our goal every year is to raise enough money to help as many families as we can. Our biggest fundraiser is the Christmas For Our Kids event which will be held this year, on December 5th. This fundraiser includes a meat raffle, raffle items, and live auction hosted by Dells Elves and a gun raffle hosted by Quarry Rock Church. The funds we receive from South Dakota’s Day of Giving on December 1st will be used to help the Dells Elves organization adopt families of their own. We always appreciate the community support we receive,” Serena Yost Campbell, Dells Elves President.
The Dell Rapids Society for Historic Preservation will partake in the SouthDakotaGives.org program for the first time this year, as well. Without being able to hold many of the annual fundraiser events in the Dell Rapids Museum this year due to the risks of Covid-19, the Dell Rapids Museum Board hopes this online fundraiser will provide a way to supplement the loss of income from their traditional events. “We want to keep the museum attractive and unique to visitors, since it is a viable part of our community. We do not have paid employees, but, we do have volunteers who are so dedicated to always helping out.” As Dell Rapids Museum board President, Alcie Chamley shares, “the Christmas Festival was always our largest event, so we are really missing that this year.” While most of their traditional museum led events are cancelled this year, they have adapted their annual auction into a week-long raffle to be held November 30th through December 6th as the Museum will open from 1pm – 6pm each day, visitors are required to wear masks for their chance at over 60+ raffle items. The proceeds from this raffle along with the funds raised on South Dakota’s Day of Giving will help cover the costs of upkeep, maintenance, and repairs as the museum is in need of a new air conditioning unit and repairing a roof leak in the northeast corner of the museum.
This year, the City of Dell Rapids worked with Brookings Area Transit Authority (BATA) to take over the management of Dells Xpress (formerly Dell Rapids Transit). Along with the new name, Dells Xpress is set to offer in-town and out-of-town bus services to the community with the addition of an ADA van designated to the Dell Rapids fleet. After visiting with Executive Director, Brenda Schweitzer, she noted this was BATA’s third year participating in the SouthDakotaGives.org program. This year, “…we’ve seen a huge increase in the need for kids to be transported to school, as it’s been a challenging year, we’ve had many requests for token assistance for children to receive those rides.” While BATA does receive some funding from the government, the state, local fares and contracts, BATA continually works to inform the community that they are a nonprofit through the education of services offered and building a pool of money to assist those who cannot afford a ride to school. Although we’re lucky here, as the City of Dell Rapids works with BATA to meet the matching funds needed to cover local costs, the organization still works diligently to meet its financial needs for all of their bus routes and services. Schweitzer explained, “BATA has set aside a Transportation Generosity Fund (#BATA4KIDS) to help provide assistance to children needing rides to school, and while we work with people when we can, we still need the support of the community to provide these services.” BATA does have the capacity to separate the incoming funds so that they are earmarked per city received. Donations can be made through the South Dakota Day of Giving on December 1st, however, donations are also welcomed all year long directly through the BATA website.
When discussing the SouthDakotaGives.org opportunity with the Dell Rapids Senior Citizen Center (DRSCC) Board Member, Norene Frederickson, she explained, “By participating in #GivingTuesday through the SouthDakotaGives.org website, the DRSCC hopes to recoup the loss of fundraising events and membership dues, along with utilizing the funds to repair, replace, and maintain the facility and equipment.” When DRSCC is in full operation, the facility offers several amenities to their members, some of which may include: utilizing exercising videos, playing cards, playing pool, as well as, attending activities, social gatherings, and a monthly potluck. DRSCC offers a kitchen, dining area, and recreation area that is available for rental use as well.
The Dell Rapids Legion George A. Fitzgerald Post 65 decided to take part as so many of their fundraising events have been impacted by Covid-19. Steve Sittig, Chair of the Executive Committee, noted that the Legion’s fundraiser efforts help them match the High School Scholarship Funds donated in honor of a local post member of 75 years, Merlin Schmidt, wherein a scholarship foundation has been established. Additionally, their fundraising goals help the Dell Rapids Legion with their operational costs, providing several services to veterans, supporting local youth groups, as well as providing several community events like the Cootie Day Carnival, the Memorial Day Parade with several Honors Ceremonies held at local cemeteries and followed by a Brat Feed, as well as their Oratory Contests and Thanksgiving Feather Party.
“Dell Rapids is very blessed to have several non-profit organizations. Through passion and hard work, they assist our fellow community members through challenging times or provide services to keep our town a great place to call home. The Dell Rapids Chamber is proud to partner with local groups participating in the SouthDakotaGives.org project. We feel these groups make an impact on the local needs within our town that no one can do alone. By donating to these worthy causes, you are able to help these groups continue to succeed in caring for our community needs,” expressed Dell Rapids Chamber Board Treasurer, Amber Larson.
Please visit www.SouthDakotaGives.org to donate to the nonprofit of your choice on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020 and/or send your donation directly to the nonprofit organization itself. More information can be found at www.DellRapidsChamber.com.