Dell Rapids Teams Participating in Swier Law Firm’s Sportsmanship Challenge

DellRapidsSportsmanshipChallengeSwier Law Firm is sponsoring a Sportsmanship Challenge for the 2018-2019 basketball season.  They have asked both the boys and girls teams of ten high schools across the state to participate in this challenge.  If the varsity teams successfully complete the challenge, each team will win $200 (up to $400 per school) to use for team camps, shooting shirts, or any other reason the coaching staff sees fit.

The requirements for the challenge are very simple.  The varsity basketball teams cannot receive any technical fouls during the entire 2018-2019 season, which includes the regular season and any post-season play.  The challenge is also team specific.  That means even if one of the teams at a school fails to meet the requirements, the other team is not disqualified from the challenge.  The other team can still earn $200 if they complete the challenge.

Scott Swier, founder and managing member of Swier Law Firm, came to Dell Rapids High School to explain the challenge to both the boys and girls teams and why they are doing this challenge.

“You can really transfer being a hard worker and being a classy person, win or lose, twenty years down the line when you’re doctors, and nurses, and lawyers, or whatever you guys want to be.  Sportsmanship really does transfer to real life,” Swier said.

The ten schools that are participating in this challenge are Avon, Burke, Dell Rapids, Gregory, Harrisburg, Lennox, Mount Vernon, Platte-Geddes, Wagner, and Winner.

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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 Fifth Grader Fighting Cancer at the Mayo Clinic


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, 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.


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.

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Dell Rapids, SD 57022
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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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Holiday Fundraiser for Dell Rapids Museum


Photo from the Dell Rapids Museum Facebook page

The Dell Rapids Museum is hosting its annual holiday themed fundraiser on Sunday, December 2nd from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the museum in downtown Dell Rapids.  All of the funds raised during the event will go toward their new roof atop the historic building on Main Street.  For $10.00, visitors of the event will receive two drinks, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and a self-guided tour of the incredible building set to live music all evening long.  The fundraiser will have viewings of old school house settings, to-scale farm scenes, and even some relics of decades past.  In addition to snacks and historic facts, the event also features a live and silent auction of donated items from local businesses.

Tickets can be purchases at the door.  More information can be found on the museum’s Facebook page at or by calling (605)-428-4821.

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Golden West Earns Smart Rural Community Award

GoldenWestLogo_Blue_300pxGolden West Telecommunications was one of thirteen broadband providers across the country that recently won National Telecommunications Coop Association(NTCA) Smart Rural Community® Showcase Awards.  According to the NTCA website, the goal of the NTCA Smart Rural Community® initiative is “to foster the development of modern, productive communities throughout rural America and Canada by encouraging innovation in the application of new broadband resources and next-generation ideas for education, telehealth services, work flexibility, public safety and security.”

Gregg Olson, Director of Member Services, Communications, and Governmental Affairs with Golden West, attended the Dell Rapids City Council regular meeting on Monday, November 19th to tell the council about how Golden West won the award.

Olson mentioned that about two years ago, Golden West finished their “Fiber to the Home” project in Dell Rapids that took about two years to finish.  Dell Rapids was one of the first communities for Golden West to have the project complete.  Olson also said that about six months ago, Golden West submitted an application for the award based on the great things they were hearing about Dell Rapids after the fiber project was complete.

“It takes a community with leadership you have in this community to take that technology and do something with it.  I think Dell Rapids is just a wonderful example of how that’s working where technology is truly meeting community leadership and innovation,” said Olson.

Kari Karst of BXCC, Dan Ahlers of the Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce, and Justin Weiland with the city were mentioned by Olson as being key members of the community that really helped Golden West tell the story of Dell Rapids in the award application.

One of the perks of the award is that Golden West gave three signs mentioning the award to the city that can be placed in Dell Rapids.

“Thank you for the work you guys do in the city.  When we talk about Dell Rapids, Golden West is one of our partners in the community.  Obviously it’s another opportunity for the Dell Rapids community to demonstrate to other people what we do have here and what we can do, and that we can technically support potential businesses,” said Dell Rapids Mayor Tom Earley.

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Dell Rapids School Board Recognizes Jeff Schmidt

Photo from Dell Rapids HS website

Photo from Dell Rapids HS website

Jeff Schmidt, the bus coordinator for Dell Rapids High School, was recognized for a job well done by the Dell Rapids School Board during their regular meeting held on Monday, November 12th.

The school recently had an unannounced inspection of buses by the South Dakota Department of Transportation and South Dakota Highway Patrol.  This inspection was a random inspection on top of the annual inspections that are done.  The bus fleet passed the inspection with a minimal five point clearance light deduction.  Schmidt noted that it takes 25 points to fail a bus.  Schmidt also mentioned that the DOT and Highway Patrol were happy with how the inspection went.

“I think it’s really good for our community and our parents to know how much work is going into keeping those buses up, and to make sure that you know that we appreciate you Jeff,” said Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz.

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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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Dell Rapids FCCLA Supporting “Shoes for the Shoeless”

ShoesForShoelessThe Dell Rapids FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) Chapter is sponsoring a project called “Shoes for the Shoeless”.   Members of the FCCLA chapter are looking for slightly used, wearable shoes of any size that people are no longer wearing.  The shoe donations can be brought to either the Dell Rapids Elementary School, Dell Rapids Middle School, or Dell Rapids High School.

Donations will be accepted until Friday, November 30th.  All of the shoes collected will be donated to the needy in Sioux Falls and the surrounding communities.

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