Mount Marty College Announces Partnership with Sacred Hoops

MtMartyYANKTON, SD — Mount Marty College (MMC) recently announced a partnership with Sacred Hoops, a South Dakota based basketball academy, that will foster opportunities for South Dakota athletes to achieve their goals both on the court and in the classroom.

As part of the agreement, Sacred Hoops athletes who go on to play any collegiate sport at MMC will be awarded an automatic $16,000 (minimum) scholarship. The scholarships, which are subject to student fulfillment of MMC’s admission requirements, are renewable for four years and have a minimum net value of $64,000.

MMC Athletic Director, Chris Kassin, says the agreement is a fantastic opportunity for the Lancers.  “We’re always looking to partner with organizations who share our mission and core values,” explains Kassin. “Our goal is to provide talented athletes from across the region with the chance to continue their co-curricular activities while they get a quality degree, so the partnership with Sacred Hoops was an obvious choice.” SacredHoops_300px

Sacred Hoops Basketball Academy provides individualized training and competitive tournament opportunities for South Dakota basketball players who want to improve their game. The program currently serves male and female athletes from across the state with headquarters in Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, Pierre, and Rapid City. The program has more than 32 summer basketball teams and does more than 150 high school program workouts in the off-season, along with various types of skill workouts, coaching clinics, and humanitarian events.

Sacred Hoops Director, Allan Bertram, believes the partnership is another way to help students pursue their athletic dreams. “Our organization focuses on helping athletes from all parts of our region, and it’s so important for us to do this with organizations that share our Mission and Vision,” says Bertram. “We are very proud and blessed to be able to partner with Mount Marty College to promote post-secondary education and give young people the opportunity to participate in athletics at the collegiate level.”

Mount Marty College offers a variety of in-demand majors including education, nursing, science, business, and criminal justice degrees. To learn more about academic programs and scholarship opportunities at MMC visit To learn more about Lancer athletics visit


Founded in 1936 by the Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery, Mount Marty College is a Catholic, Benedictine school of higher education located along the bluffs of the Missouri River in Yankton, South Dakota, with additional locations in Watertown and Sioux Falls. Mount Marty offers undergraduate and graduate degrees with particular focus on student and alumni success in high-demand fields such as health sciences, education, criminal justice, business, accounting, recreation management and more. A community of learners in the Benedictine tradition, Mount Marty emphasizes academic excellence and develops well-rounded students with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills and moral, spiritual and social values. To learn more, visit

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Local Students to Learn About Ethics from Top Leaders

JuniorAchievementLogoDell Rapids, SD- Misusing company time, abusive behavior, and employee theft are among the most frequently observed unethical behaviors in the U.S. workplace (according to a survey conducted by the Washington, D.C. based Ethics Resource Center, January 2015). In an effort to stop this trend, Junior Achievement is striving to educate students about the importance of ethical decisions while they are still in school. Through the JA Excelling through Ethics program, over 9,300 South Dakota middle and high school students from 32 communities will learn from executive level volunteers the importance of ethics.

Junior Achievement partners with nearly 500 local business executives across the state to share their personal experience with ethical decision-making and to provide each student an opportunity to think critically about ethical dilemmas they may face. Along with the foundation of ethics, they challenge students to consider their own integrity, reliability, values, and character.

On Wednesday, December 5, over 75 Dell Rapids students will participate in the program. The JA Ethics volunteers will conduct activities, lead discussions, and share real-life ethical decisions they have faced and how they responded. Through these discussions, students will gain a better understanding of their responsibility to society and of the role ethics and integrity play in the workplace and in life.

Kayla Eitreim, President of Junior Achievement of South Dakota, stated, “Today’s students are tomorrow’s future leaders, and Junior Achievement is proud to have the opportunity to help ensure our students are prepared for the workplace. JA volunteers help students develop their soft skills and encourage them to take time to think about the implications of tough decisions while at work and in their personal lives.

Junior Achievement of South Dakota, founded in 1968, inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy. For more information about the JA Excelling through Ethics program, please contact our state office at 800-871-7007 or visit

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Sacred Hoops to Host Inaugural AAU All-Native National Basketball Championships

First-ever event will be held in Rapid City, South Dakota in June of 2019

AAUSIOUX FALLS, S.D – In a continuing effort to expand the game of basketball in South Dakota, the Sacred Hoops Basketball Organization is pleased to announce it is partnering with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) to host an AAU All-Native National Championships basketball tournament for Boys and Girls in Rapid City, South Dakota in June of 2019, with Rapid City Central High School being the host facility.

This news comes after Sacred Hoops Director Allan Bertram had meetings with AAU National Basketball Board Members at the AAU National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. While exact dates of the tournament have yet to be announced, a preliminary date of June 14, the second week in June, has been set.SacredHoops_300px

“The ability to provide a national championship tournament affiliated with the top amateur basketball organization in the world to Native Americans across the country is something we are extremely proud of,” said Sacred Hoops Director Allan Bertram. “Basketball is so special for Native American athletes throughout the country and we eagerly anticipate hosting the event and crowning national championship teams.”

Since its inception in 1888, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) has set the standard for amateur sports in the United States with one goal in mind: “Sports For All, Forever.” The organization continues to expand its event programming across the country.

“Supporting this first-ever All-Native National Championship program is a no-brainer for the AAU,” said AAU President/CEO Dr. Roger J. Goudy. “This first venture into an All-Native National championship will become a standard to showcase athletes from across the country and provide an opportunity to play on the biggest of stages.”

Overall, the partnership between Sacred Hoops and the iconic AAU organization will positively impact participants lives on and off the court.

“The game of basketball is so special for the youth on our Reservations and this will bring a legitimate opportunity to play in a prestigious National Championship.” said Sacred Hoops Director Allan Bertram. “In addition, the hope is this high-level tournament will provide further opportunities for athletes who wish to continue their post-secondary education.”


The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest- non-profit volunteer sports organizations in the country. As a multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports programs. Founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in sports, the AAU philosophy of “Sports For All, Forever” is now shared by nearly 700,000 members and 150,000 volunteers across 41 sports programs and 55 U.S. districts. For more information, visit

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Representative-elect Jon Hansen Chosen for House Leadership Position

Jon Hansen HeadshotPIERRE, SD–Jon Hansen (R-Dell Rapids) has been elected to a legislative leadership position as a House Majority Whip. Legislators gathered in Pierre over the weekend and elected Hansen to the leadership post.

“It’s an honor to be elected by my fellow legislators to serve in house leadership,” Hansen said. “Being a whip allows me to build stronger collaborative relationships with policy makers in both the legislature and the administration and gives our district a stronger voice in Pierre.”

Hansen previously served as a House Majority Whip in 2013. Hansen was recently re-elected to serve in the State House and will begin a two year term in January. Hansen represents District 25, which includes Dell Rapids.

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Local Vocalists to Participate in the 2018 South Dakota All-State Chorus & Orchestra

Over 1,000 of South Dakota’s best high school vocal and instrumental musicians will gather in Rapid City for the 66th Annual South Dakota All-State Chorus and Orchestra on Friday and Saturday, October 26 & 27.  The All-State activities will culminate with a Grand Concert at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center beginning at 7:00 p.m. (MT) on Saturday evening, October 27th. Concert tickets can be purchased at, or at the box office in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.  The doors of the Civic Center will open for the Concert at 5:30 on Saturday evening.

Four students from Dell Rapids St Mary and eight from Dell Rapids will be among those that will be performing.  Courtney Geraets, a 4-year All-State Choir Award recipient, Paige Bunkers, Jon Bares, and Noah Dennis will be representing Dell Rapids St Mary.  Kat Fletcher, Amy Meyer, Mercedes Lodmell, Abby Stauffenecker, Alex Saxon, Andrew Weiland, Peyton Gleason, and Thomas Petrik will be representing Dell Rapids.

The annual All-State Chorus & Orchestra, sponsored by South Dakota High School Activities Association, is the largest interscholastic high school music activity held in South Dakota. The 2018 All-State Chorus includes 928 singers representing 145 South Dakota high schools.  The All-State Orchestra is comprised of 156 musicians from 22 schools.

The guest conductors for the 2018 All-State Chorus & Orchestra Concert are Dr. Phillip Swan from Wisconsin, and Dr. Anthony Elliott from Michigan.  Dr. Swan will conduct the All-State Chorus while Dr. Elliott will lead the 2018 All-State Orchestra.

During the All-State Grand Concert, the South Dakota Music Educators Association will recognize several high schools and individuals for their contributions to music in South Dakota. The SDHSAA will also recognize one of its 2018-19 Distinguished Service Award winners.

Additional information which might assist with other news or feature stories about the All-State Chorus & Orchestra are available at the South Dakota High School Activities Association website (   Once on the SDHSAA home page, please go to “Fine Arts”, then “Music”, then “All-State Chorus and Orchestra, and the following information can be found at this site:

1.   Guest Conductor Biographical Information about this year’s All-State conductors

2.   All-State Chorus & Orchestra Rehearsal Schedule – this is the schedule that will be followed during the two days of All-State rehearsal and concert performance

4.   All-State Chorus & Orchestra Concert Ticket Information


Media Contact: Brooks Bowman, SDHSAA Assistant Executive Director (605-224-9261)

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2018 ESA “Christmas for our Kids” Drive

2018ESA_AngelTree“Christmas for Our Kids” is a long standing community project started by Sue Horstmeyer and currently spearheaded by the local ESA women’s organization.  Because of the generosity of the Dell Rapids community, we are able to ensure a Merry Christmas for all of our Dell Rapids kids. Last Christmas we were able to provide gifts to 146 children and gift cards to 60 families in the Dell Rapids area. Those kids truly had a Merry Christmas because of your kindness.

The “Christmas for Our Kids” project works like this:

  • Families in need are identified through anonymous referrals. We may all know a family in our community that is going through tough times and could use our help to provide those extras over the holidays.
  • Referred families are contacted and kid’s “wish lists” are requested.
  • These “wish lists” are filled through donations and delivered to families prior to Christmas.

Here are some ways you can help ensure another successful “Christmas for Our Kids” project:

  1. Refer a Family in Need – Contact Brenda O’Hara or Lori Morris with family referrals. Please submit referrals by November 10th. – (Brenda: Cell 201-6571 or Lori: Cell 359-8795 or
  2. Adopt a Child or Family – You or your group can adopt a child or family and purchase gifts from their “wish lists”. You will be anonymously matched up with a child or family and have fun shopping. Contact Brenda or Lori to be matched with a family.
  3. Angel Tree – There will be three Angel Trees set up with specific gift requests. Stop by Shopko, Avera Hospital, or First National Bank and take a tag from the Angel Tree, do your shopping, and return the unwrapped gift under the tree by December 13th with the tag attached.
  4. Make a Monetary Donation – Monetary donations can be dropped off or mailed to “Christmas for Our Kids”, First National Bank, 312 E. 4th Street, Dell Rapids, SD 57022.

We hope to have all donations collected by December 14th so that gifts can be sorted and delivered to the families prior to Christmas. As we enter the holiday season please consider being part of this Dell Rapids tradition. If you have any questions please contact Brenda O’Hara at 201-6571 or, or Lori Morris at 359-8795 or

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Historic Soccer Season for Garretson/Dell Rapids Continues into Playoffs

GarretsonHSLogoThe key word for this season this year is effort.

The Garretson High School/Dell Rapids High School girls soccer team started off with a hard-fought loss to Vermillion on a hot, muggy evening, but the team turned around the next day and beat Groton Area for the first time ever.  The team came out strong the next week with a win over Huron, but fell flat against Tea Area a couple days later.  The team did their best to bounce back from the loss, but came up short the next week against Sioux Falls Christian.  Later that week, the team drove down to Dakota Valley, ready to turn the season around.  The girls fought hard on the uncharacteristically warm Saturday and came out on top.  However, that next week brought more heartache as the team succumbed to a loss against Mitchell.

The girls put forth a tremendous effort in their next game against West Central, but the second half was ultimately their demise as they fell once again.  However, the team was able to regroup and pull together for a win two days later against Worthington, MN.  After having five days of rest from games, the girls came out ready to play Vermillion the next week.  With 110% effort for the full 80 minutes, the girls avenged their first loss of the season with a 0-0 tie.  The high from this tie carried over into the next game of that week, and the team once again beat Groton Area, this time on their own field.  The final game of the season was against Sioux Falls Christian.  The girls played their hearts out, but unfortunately came up short in a 1-2 loss to the Chargers to end the regular season.

However, it was enough to land the team the #5 seed in the playoffs – – a feat which has never before occurred in the history of the Garretson soccer program.  On Tuesday, October 2nd, the team will have one final opportunity to defeat Vermillion.  With 100% effort, the team can bring forth strong passes, good runs, and lots of shots, which could land these girls with their first playoff win against a team who has created in this program motivation and a desire for more.

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Event to Impact Local Blood Supply This Fall

CommunityBloodBankDells Rapids, SD – Avera Dells Area Health Center and Community Blood Bank is joining forces to help ward off fall blood shortages by hosting the blood drive event. The blood drive will be held on Thursday, October 4th from 7:00 am to 11:00 am and 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm at Avera Dells Area Health Center. All blood donations will stay local for local use and all who donate will receive a special t-shirt.  

Every three seconds someone needs blood, and the only way to ensure that those needs are met is to rely on volunteer donors to donate blood. The need for local blood donors is immense. The Community Blood Bank supplies over 550 units of blood each week to people in the region. Among those who benefit from donated blood are trauma and burn victims, cancer patients and persons undergoing surgery.

“The fall can be a difficult to maintain an adequate blood supply for the community,” states Ken Versteeg, Executive Director, Community Blood Bank. “With people addressing elective surgeries before the end of the year and a consistent need for blood for many types of medical treatment, data shows a steady increase in usage as we go through the fall season.”

Donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with a signed parent consent form), weigh 110 lbs or more and be in good general health. It is recommended that a person eat and drink plenty of fluids prior to donating blood. Please bring an ID with you at the time of donation. For more information log onto or call Community Blood Bank at 1-877-877-3070 or call Avera Dells Area Health Center at 605-428-5431

Community Blood Bank is not affiliated with other blood bank organizations and takes pride in being a self-sufficient organization, thanks to the generosity of our local blood donors.

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Dells Q’s JV Splits Double Header


Photo courtesy of Steph Bittner

Another Dell Rapids JV softball team, the Dell Rapids Q’s JV, split two games on Sunday, September 23rd.  Dell Rapids took a 6-4 victory over West Central, but fell behind in the second game and lost to Winner 12-5.

Dell Rapids got on the board early in the first game when Rileigh Foster hit a home run to lead off the game.  Foster collected multiple hits in the game along with Abby Greenhoff, Kenzie Garry, and Haileigh Barnhart.  Kylie Bittner was the winning pitcher as she allowed four hits and four runs over 5 2/3 innings while walking just one batter.

In the second game against Winner, Autumn Tomes and Katrina Kruel shared the pitching duties.  Kruel ended with three strikes out in her two innings of work.  Garry was 2-2 at the plate in the second game.  Dell Rapids had a total of eight hits in the game.

The season for the Dell Rapids Q’s JV team comes to an end with the end-of-the-season tournament this coming weekend.

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New Chef Cooks Lunch for Students in Dell Rapids

LunchtimeSolutionsChefDemoDELL RAPIDS, SD — Sabrina Slater, the new demonstration chef at Lunchtime Solutions, Inc., was in the lunchroom to cook and serve beef and broccoli stir fry on Tuesday, September 25th.  Chef Sabrina created this savory dish right in front of the students and served it up hot and fresh.

Preparing fresh entrees for students through chef demonstrations in the lunchroom is a regular part of Lunchtime Solutions’ food service program.  Lunchtime Solutions has operated Dell Rapids food service for the past 16 years.

Chef Sabrina has nearly 15 years of experience in food service, spending three years as a cook at the famous Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas before joining the Lunchtime Solutions team. She is excited to bring her expertise into our schools to provide more healthy, fresh-made lunch choices for students and staff.  Our chef-prepared entrees give them an opportunity to try foods that they may have not tried before and expose them to flavors and tastes not normally a part of school food service.

“Our program centers on getting kids excited about eating lunch at school,” said Jennifer Hopf, Area Director for Lunchtime Solutions. “We think it’s important to provide a wide variety of menu options and make sure students have unlimited access to fresh fruits and vegetables every day.”

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