Local Fifth Grader Fighting Cancer at the Mayo Clinic

DerekBlanket

Photo courtesy of Tammy Chamley

“Fight Derek Fight” is a phrase that can be seen and heard throughout our small community.  Derek Gerlach, a fifth grader at Dell Rapids Middle School, is undergoing the fight of his life.

Derek was diagnosed with a brain tumor on November 6th, 2018.  The following day Derek underwent surgery to remove a tumor from the base of his skull.  Derek has been diagnosed with Medulloblastoma.

According to Wikipedia.org, Medulloblastoma is the most common type of pediatric malignant primary brain tumor (cancer), originating in the part of the brain that is towards the back and bottom, on the floor of the skull, in the cerebellum, or posterior fossa.

DerekClass

Photo courtesy of Tammy Chamley

On Monday, December 3rd, Derek started his six week radiation therapy at the Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minnesota.   Derek is looking at a minimum of a year of chemotherapy treatment to battle his cancer.

On Friday, November 30th, before Derek’s departure for the Mayo Clinic, his classmates had a heart-felt surprise for him.  The fifth grade class presented Derek with a homemade quilt for his journey and time away from them.  Each fifth grade student designed a square to be placed on the quilt.  Tanna Swanson, retired fifth grade math teacher (who now steps in as a substitute teacher) was able to bring the creation to life.  Thanks to many hours of sewing, Derek was able to have his quilt before he left for the treatment ahead of him.  “I am so amazed at the maturity and support that the Dell Rapids fifth graders have shown through this with Derek,” Shane Gerlach said.

Shortly after arriving at the hotel in Rochester, the Gerlach family received the call that they were accepted to stay at the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota.  The Ronald McDonald House provides a place for families to call home so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little to no cost.

Due to the amount of appointments the first week in Rochester, both of Derek’s parents, Shane and Donelle will be staying with him.  After the first week, Shane and Donelle will rotate time spent with Derek in Rochester and their home in Dell Rapids.  “Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day will all be spent in Rochester,” Shane Gerlach stated.   “But we’ll be together. That is all that matters. I don’t care where we spend the holiday, we’ll at least be with each other.”

To help Derek and his family, you can donate at any Wells Fargo to the Derek Gerlach Charity Fund, the Help Derek Fight Go Fund Me website, purchase a #fightderekfight bracelet or window decal and most importantly, prayers for Derek.

Want to read more from the Dells City Journal? Here’s how:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dellscityjournal/

Website: http://dellscityjournal.com/

Tammy Chamley, Managing Editor
Contact Info:
Dells City Journal
513 West 4th Street
Dell Rapids, SD 57022
Tel: 605-428-5600
Fax: 888-397-6154
Subscription Rates are as follows:
Subscription Rates in SD: 1 Yr. $38.00
Out of State: 1 Yr. $45.00
Share and Like this story:

Papa’s Pub & Eatery To Open Their Doors Early December

David and Rebecca Ohayon Photo courtesy of Tammy Chamley, Dells City Journal

David and Rebecca Ohayon
Photo courtesy of Tammy Chamley, Dells City Journal

Dell Rapids will be welcoming a new restaurant to Main Street.  Papa’s Pub & Eatery will be opening soon for all to enjoy.

David and Rebecca Ohayon are the proud new owners of Papa’s Pub & Eatery.  Rebecca is a graduate of Dell Rapids St. Mary.  “We chose Dell Rapids for a few different reasons, and it all came together so perfectly,” Rebecca explained.  “The family connection first and foremost. We wanted to be in a community where we wouldn’t be just another place to eat, such as Sioux Falls. We wanted to be some where we could make a name for ourselves. We also love unique buildings, and David is a history buff, so the minute we walked into the Opera House building, he was in love.”

Opening a restaurant in Dell Rapids has been on the Ohayon family’s radar for quite some time, unfortunately, the timing was never quite right.  “This time around, it just all fell into plac,e and that’s how we landed in Dell Rapids,” the Ohayons stated.  “We think very highly of the city of Dell Rapids, and it is a beautiful town. We also understand the need for a casual dining experience in town. We would love to fill that need, while becoming a part of the growth of Dell Rapids.”

Papa’s Pub & Eatery is named after David’s late father, Daniel.  “We know his father is with us every single day, so naming this restaurant in honor of him just made perfect sense,” Rebecca said.

Together, David and Rebecca have over 30 years in the restaurant industry.  “From dishwasher to operations director, we have done it all,” Rebecca explained.  “David is well versed in both the kitchen and the front of house, whereas I strictly stay in the front of the house.” The Ohayons also have a leadership team in place that has many, many years of restaurant experience in the dining room as well as the kitchen. “David’s management style is unbeatable,” Rebecca explained.  “You work with him, not for him, and I truly believe that is why he has been extremely successful everywhere he has worked.” David throughout the years held many positions with companies such as Spezia, On the Border, Johnny Carinos, Beef ‘O’ Bradys, The Willows at Willow Run and more. “After seeing him work so hard for others, I am glad he is finally going to do it for himself and our family,” Rebecca stated.  Rebecca has worked in the restaurant business as well, at places such as The Monarch Steakhouse, Cody’s Tavern and Grill, The Minnehaha Country Club and Johnny Carinos.

The menu will be mainly American fare with some of David’s experiences and cultural background sprinkled in. Papa’s Pub & Eatery will offer other types of food such as Mexican and French along with other countries in the Mediterranean region as weekend features. “The menu isn’t quite finalized, but you can expect to see a few appetizers, burgers, steak/chicken/shrimp entrees, pastas, salads, specialty sandwiches and soup options,” Rebecca explained.  Papa’s Pub & Eatery will offer a lunch menu, dinner menu, children’s menu as well as desserts.  A full bar will also be included in the restaurant.

David and Rebecca have four children, Mia (10), Quinn (4), Andre (almost 2) and Genevieve (6 months old).  Whether it be a weekend of competitive softball, soccer tournament or gymnastics meet, the Ohayon family enjoys every minute of life with each other. “We stay extremely busy with four children, but they keep our hearts full, and that’s what matters most,” Rebecca said.  “The greatest things in life aren’t things.”

“Obviously, the timing was right for Dell Rapids as well as our family,” Rebecca explained on why choosing to open a new restaurant.  “It has always been a dream of David’s to have his own place, and we would talk about the different locations throughout the country that we would move to, but somehow, family always kept us grounded here.  Opening Papa’s Pub & Eatery in Dell Rapids will give us a place where we can share our love and passion for food and people!”

Papa’s Pub & Eatery plan to be open Tuesdays-Thursdays 11am-9pm; Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm. “We will eventually consider opening on Sundays in the morning,” Rebecca explained. “We want to offer an atmosphere for everyone – family gatherings, date night, business lunches, rehearsal dinners, you name it!”  Papa’s Pub & Eatery plans to open their doors early December.

Want to read more from the Dells City Journal? Here’s how:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dellscityjournal/

Website: http://dellscityjournal.com/

Tammy Chamley, Managing Editor
Contact Info:
Dells City Journal
513 West 4th Street
Dell Rapids, SD 57022
Tel: 605-428-5600
Fax: 888-397-6154
Subscription Rates are as follows:
Subscription Rates in SD: 1 Yr. $38.00
Out of State: 1 Yr. $45.00
Share and Like this story:

Race to End Human Trafficking to Be Held in Dell Rapids

TheRacetoEndHumanTraffickingOn Saturday, October 13th, Dell Rapids streets will have runners of all ages making strides for “The Race to End Human Trafficking.”  According to international definition, human trafficking means ‘the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or purchase of persons for the sole purpose of exploitation.’  According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), approximately 2.5 million people become victims of human trafficking every year.

“I think human trafficking is something has gotten a lot of press the last few years surrounding the Super Bowl, especially while in Minneapolis this last year,” Pastor Brandon Wenzel of Quest Church explained. “We here in South Dakota are actually a pretty big hub for moving people across the country with some major highways running through our state. Our goal is to not only bring awareness, but to give money to organizations that are making a difference not only around the world in this area, but right here in South Dakota. It is our goal to raise over $5,000 through this endeavor.”

With so many organizations set up across the world to assist with this epidemic, “The Race to End Human Trafficking” is working on helping the more local organizations.  “For our first race, we are looking to give money to “Freedom’s Journey” out of Rapid City and also to “Call of Freedom” in Sioux Falls,” Wenzel explained.  “Both organizations are doing great things in the area of human trafficking.”

“This particular race will be special because we are catering to both the experienced and inexperienced racer. We wanted to bring in a company for it to be chip-timed so that people could recognize that we are serious about the race portion,” Wenzel stated.  “So if you are an experienced runner, it’s an opportunity to really get an accurate time for your race. It also allows for immediate placements, and you can also see your name on a big LED board when you finish. But if you’re not an experienced racer, it’s a great way to support a cause and get some race experience. There will be plenty of people out there who are just out to have some fun. So whether you want to run your best race or just get out and enjoy the day, this is the race for you!”

“The Race to End Human Trafficking” would love to have the community’s support for this extraordinary cause.  “Join us! Whether that’s signing up your family for the 1 mile fun run, running your first 5k, or running a 10k, we’d love for you to come out.  Every participant gets a free, athletic style shirt and there will be plenty of post-race food as well.  If you’re interested in donating as an individual or a business, we are always looking to raise money that way.”

To find out more information or to register for the race, find “The Race to End Human Trafficking” on Facebook, or go to their website, http://theracetoendhumantrafficking.itsyourrace.com.

Want to read more from the Dells City Journal? Here’s how:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dellscityjournal/

Website: http://dellscityjournal.com/

Tammy Chamley, Managing Editor
Contact Info:
Dells City Journal
513 West 4th Street
Dell Rapids, SD 57022
Tel: 605-428-5600
Fax: 888-397-6154
Subscription Rates are as follows:
Subscription Rates in SD: 1 Yr. $38.00
Out of State: 1 Yr. $45.00
Share and Like this story:

Dell Rapids Healthy Hometown Initiative

The city of Dell Rapids along with other community members have been meeting with Wellmark and discussing actions that can bring about a healthier community. The “Healthy Hometown” initiative looks to identify and make happen actions that can improve the overall health of the community.  An event was held August 16th at County Fair in Dell Rapids.  County Fair and Avera had teamed to offer taste testing and healthy recipes to the County Fair customers.  Customers were able to learn about using avocados in their diet.

Another discussion has been to have a community garden.  “The community garden is part of a larger Healthy Communities Project,” Dan Ahlers explained.  “Many community members are working on this.  It involves people from the city, the chamber, the business community and anyone who has wanted to volunteer for the group.  All different facets of the community that want to be involved to help make Dell Rapids a healthier place.”  Currently, the Healthy Community Project is looking for public spaces.

“We are looking at the area down by the old warming house down by the river,” Ahlers stated.  “The warming house could be used as a community tool shed where people can come in and do their planting and dirt work.  We are looking for volunteers to help with organizing the garden, help us decide what it will look like, how we do the plots, and things like that.”

There has been several requests for a community garden.  “This is certainly something that lends itself to the Healthier Communities,” Ahlers said.  “It provides opportunity for the community to get involved.  There is certainly a benefit to it.   It allows the community to have an opportunity to grow their own vegetables, play with new gardening techniques, and there is an educational component to it as well.  There is a lot of potential.”  Dell Rapids is in the early stages of the community garden, but looks forward to seasons to come.

The expansion of the bike trail is another step towards a healthier community.  With the help of the community, donations, and grants, Dell Rapids is moving forward with several additions.  “The trail existed before this Healthy Communities group,” Ahlers said.  “You can see how it is part of the discussion with questions like, ‘Do we have water dispensers along the way?  Do we have benches we can put along the way?  What will enhance that trail and make it even better?’”

The Healthy Community Group focuses on everything that would help make Dell Rapids a healthier community.  “It’s all about making your small town a better place to live, creating opportunities, and it’s about what makes each little town special,” Ahlers stated.  “We are reaching out for volunteers to assist us with this program.”

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Justin Weiland at City Hall, Mayor Tom Earley or Dan Ahlers.

2820x1007_SouthDakotaHeading

What is a community garden?

  • A community garden is typically a public space where community members plant and harvest vegetables/and or fruits for their own use.  Frequently, community gardens are owned/managed by a city, and plots are rented to residents to plant and harvest with an annual fee.  Sometimes, organizations such as faith-based organizations, senior centers, or schools may plant a community garden for use by their organization.  Some community gardens are planted and maintained completely by volunteers and the harvest is shared with community members and/or donated to a local food pantry.

What are some of the health benefits of a community garden?

  • It is expected community gardens can provide increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables, increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, and increased physical activity.  Furthermore, a community garden gives people an opportunity to socialize with neighbors and other community members.  If fruits and vegetables are given to a food pantry or shared with other community members, people who may otherwise not have access to fresh fruits and vegetables could have the opportunity to eat these foods.

What does it take to start a community garden?

  • If enough people in a community/neighborhood/organization are interested in starting a community garden, the first step is to form a community workgroup where decisions can be made about where a garden might best be located, how would the land be obtained, what type of garden beds would be utilized, what are the estimate expenses, how would funds be raised, what kind of policies are needed, as well as provide oversight of the ongoing day-to-day operations of the garden.  It would be important for there to be a broad range of stakeholders with a vested interest in gardening on the committee, including people with gardening expertise and experience as well as people who want to learn and/or actively participate in the process.  Anyone is welcome to participate.

In the past there has been interest in starting a community garden.  We have the opportunity to explore this option as part of the Dell Rapids Healthy Hometown initiative.  We need community volunteers to help us develop and implement an action plan.  If you are interested in helping, please contact Justin Weiland, City Administrator at CityAdmin@cityofdellrapids.com or 605-428-5926 for more information.

Want to read more from the Dells City Journal? Here’s how:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dellscityjournal/

Website: http://dellscityjournal.com/

Tammy Chamley, Managing Editor
Contact Info:
Dells City Journal
513 West 4th Street
Dell Rapids, SD 57022
Tel: 605-428-5600
Fax: 888-397-6154
Subscription Rates are as follows:
Subscription Rates in SD: 1 Yr. $38.00
Out of State: 1 Yr. $45.00
Share and Like this story:

Local Rodeo Athlete To Continue Career At Mitchell Tech

Cheyenne with her horse, Rudy.  Rudy is 21 years old.  Cheyenne along with her brother, Sutton, have trained the horse for rodeo after being given to them by their father. (Photo submitted by Roxie Adams)

Cheyenne with her horse, Rudy. Rudy is 21 years old. Cheyenne along with her brother, Sutton, have trained the horse for rodeo after being given to them by their father. (Photo submitted by Roxie Adams)

Local rodeo athlete Cheyenne Adams placed eighth at the South Dakota High School Rodeo Association Finals this past June in Belle Fourche, South Dakota.  Including Adams there were 80 athletes competing in the breakaway roping category. 

Adams was also able to collect three scholarships for college based on her performance and academics.  Adams will be attending Mitchell Tech in the fall where she will continue with rodeo along with her older brother, Sutton Adams.  C. Adams will be majoring in Animal Science at MTI.   

“My dreams are to work with animals. It’s a given that I love horses, but I also really like cattle. Someday I want to live in western South Dakota with cattle of my own,” C. Adams said.  “I’m not sure as of now what specific career I want to hold, but I do find animal nutrition interesting.”

Adams has been active in the rodeo since the sixth grade. 

“I enjoy rodeo most for a couple reasons.  The friendships I have made through rodeo are by far my favorite.  You meet so many other kids/adults from all over, and you share a hobby and so much in common which I think helps to keep those friendships. Unlike many friendships in high school that may fade away as you go to college and grow apart from each other, rodeo friends seem to be more your lifelong friends. I also really like the fact that in the sport of rodeo everyone is your competitor. You don’t have to rely on others to do their part. You’re also friends with every one of your competitors, and everyone cheers each other on. No one really hates another person for beating them. From parents to other competitors, anyone and everyone is willing to help you in any way that you may need, from letting you use their horse to something as simple as helping you get set just perfectly to make a run in the arena. In rodeo everyone is one big family, and I really like that. Also, there aren’t many sports out there that take the time to pray before a performance, but in rodeo, along with the national anthem, we all pray before every single rodeo no matter where you go,” C. Adams stated.  “I’ve probably been in 200 or so rodeos.  I have numerous top four winnings from coats, tack, horse supplies and monetary winnings.  However, I have only won six buckles.”

When C. Adams was asked what she would have to say to the younger kids looking to get involved with the rodeo, she was very passionate about her answer. 

“Definitely worth the try! I guarantee you’ll love it. It’s one of the most humbling sports, and it’s going to teach you many life lessons. Rodeo takes a lot of hard work and effort. You have to make time for it like all other sports, and you have to be willing to put in all the hard work to really succeed,” C. Adams stated.  “It’s not a cheap sport, so make sure it’s what you really want to do. I encourage everyone with an interest in horses and rodeo to try it! Each day the sport of rodeo is threatened by those who don’t understand the sport and are trying to take it away from us. The more people involved and educated on the sport and all of the care we give to the animals the better. It’s life changing, and like I said before, rodeo gives you your lifelong friends.”

Roxie Adams, C. Adams’ mother, has nothing but great things to say about her kids being active in rodeo. 

“As a parent what I love about rodeo is the many lessons it has taught our children, from the responsibility of taking care of their horses, to having them saddled and ready when it is their turn to compete in the arena, it has also taught our kids how to win and lose graciously and to be humble. Rodeo is a very humbling sport. One weekend everything goes right and you place in or win all your events, and the next weekend nothing goes right. The most important to me is the friendship and respect these kids have for each other. When they are in the arena competing, they are fierce competitors, but outside the arena they are good friends who are willing to help each other do better the next time. We experienced this first hand when our son’s horse had a bad accident while Sutton and Cheyenne were team roping, and his horse broke it’s leg. The love and support given to our kids by the other competitors and their families was overwhelming! Those same kids who were competing against our kids offered up their horses for our son to use so that Sutton and Cheyenne could compete again that night. I truly love these friendships that are made both for the kids and the parents. I know that if our kids ever needed anything, there would be someone who could help them if we weren’t around. This is definitely a sport where the whole family gets involved from helping the practice, to helping at the rodeo, to taking pictures, and cheering them on. We all have enjoyed this sport very much. Both of our kids were able to qualify for State High School Rodeo all through high school. Those rodeos are ones we will always remember and be proud of. This sport, because your main piece of equipment is your horse, it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and practice not only for the kids but their horses as well,” R. Adams said.

Want to read more from the Dells City Journal? Here’s how:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dellscityjournal/

Website: http://dellscityjournal.com/

Tammy Chamley, Managing Editor
Contact Info:
Dells City Journal
513 West 4th Street
Dell Rapids, SD 57022
Tel: 605-428-5600
Fax: 888-397-6154
Subscription Rates are as follows:
Subscription Rates in SD: 1 Yr. $38.00
Out of State: 1 Yr. $45.00
Share and Like this story:

Great Plains Watercolor Society Event Held In Dell Rapids

WatercolorSociety2

Jeannie Ammon uses watercolors to create her painting

Members from all over the region come together to paint in a variety of locations across the area.  The Great Plains Watercolor Society has both men and women who participate in their events and workshops totaling 117 members to date.  Members come from Nebraska, Minnesota and all over South Dakota.

WatercolorSociety1

Carol Baum playing a dulcimer during the painting session at The Mother’s Healing Garden

On Thursday, July 26, The Great Plains Watercolor Society met at The Mother’s Healing Garden here in Dell Rapids.  “I don’t paint very well, but it is the experience of sharing nature with your paintbrush,” said Mary Buckmiller, member of the society.  “Together, we share our love for painting.  We have been to the Avera Cancer Center to paint with patients and family members as well as The Inn On Westport and shared our art with folks that can’t get out and paint.”

Every Thursday the society meets to paint on location at a variety of locations varying from Falls Park in Sioux Falls, Veteran’s Memorial Garden, Jappenese Gardens and so many more.  “Twice a month we also get together and paint indoors,” Jeannie Ammon stated.  “We have one of our members demonstrate and we all follow along.”

The Great Plains Watercolor Society has numerous art shows throughout the year.  Currently, they have an exhibition at Coffea in Sioux Falls and had a display at the Wine & Wander event held in Dell Rapids on July 27.

New members are always welcome to join The Great Plains Watercolor Society.  Information for membership can be found at greatplainswatercolorsociety.com.  “Everyone is welcome to come check us out,” Ammon said.  “Beginners who may have never picked up a brush, or even professionals.  We would love to have more people join.”

Want to read more from the Dells City Journal?  Here’s how:

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/dellscityjournal/

Website:  http://dellscityjournal.com/

Tammy Chamley, Managing Editor
Contact Info:
Dells City Journal
513 West 4th Street
Dell Rapids, SD 57022
Tel: 605-428-5600
Fax: 888-397-6154
Subscription Rates are as follows:
Subscription Rates in SD: 1 Yr. $38.00
Out of State: 1 Yr. $45.00
Share and Like this story: