Dell Rapids Middle and High Schools Raise Money for Hurricane Relief

Students at both the Dell Rapids Middle School and Dell Rapids High School held fundraisers recently to raise money for hurricane relief.

The middle school held a week-long “Penny War” the week of October 16th – 20th.  Students could bring in spare change throughout the week with the winning class receiving a movie and popcorn party for the whole grade.  Points were accumulated throughout the week for each grade level.  Points were gained by adding pennies to grade’s jug.  Points were subtracted by adding silver coins and bills to the other grade’s jugs.  The 6th grade finished with -19,001 points.  The 7th grade had -13,763 points.  5th grade finished with -13,762 points.  The winning class of the movie and popcorn party was the 8th grade class with a total of +1,922 points.

Throughout the “Penny War” week, the students and staff of the middle school raised $1,186.24!  All the money will be donated to the American Red Cross for relief efforts following hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

The Dell Rapids High School also held their own fundraiser that also raised funds for hurricane relief.  Raffle tickets were sold to the high school students for $2.00 each.  The raffle earned the students a chance to throw a whipped-cream pie at Mr. Bunkers during the pep rally on Friday, October 20th.  A few lucky students were drawn out and able to throw their pies in front of the entire middle and high school during the pep rally.  The high school students were able to raise $200 to be added to the hurricane relief.



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Dell Rapids Students Learning about Locally Grown Foods One Bite at a Time


Dave Hoversten poses with a basket of Red Gala apples he delivered to Dell Rapids schools that were served to students for lunch.

Dell Rapids School District students are benefiting from the fruits of local growers’ labors not only during National Farm to School Month, but year-round.

The school district’s partnership with Hoversten Orchard north of Brandon, SD, is just one example. Over the past two months, orchard owner Dave Hoversten has been personally delivering a wide variety of apples grown at the orchard – up to 800 apples, or 8 bushels, a week. As a result, Dell Rapids students have gotten to munch on a wide variety of apples that include Honeycrisp, Gala, Zestar!, Sweet Sixteen, Ginger Gold, and Williams’ Pride.

Deb Emmert, Dell Rapids Food Service Director, said she’s been partnering with Hoversten for several years to supply apples to the lunchroom during his regular growing season. “The best part of going through a local orchard is that we get types of apples kids have never heard of before,” Emmert said. “The response we’ve gotten is remarkable. Students love the taste and they can tell when we have to go back to store-bought.”

Dell Rapids’ breakfast and lunch programs are operated by Lunchtime Solutions Inc., a K-12 food service management company based out of Dakota Dunes, SD. The apples are being served as part of Lunchtime Solutions’ monthly Farmers Market Selections program, through which locally grown produce is featured on school lunch menus accompanied by education about the fruit or vegetable and information about the local grower. October is also National Farm to School Month, which celebrates the connections happening all over the country between children and local food.

Emmert said she tries to serve local fruits and vegetables as much as possible throughout the year, partnering with several other growers in the area.


Dell Rapids High School students have enjoyed eating locally grown apples from Hoversten Orchard north of Brandon, SD, throughout the month of October.

“There are lots of reasons why it’s important to serve local foods,” she said. “These growers contribute to the school district through being located here, so supporting them helps everyone. And the education our kids receive is great – they find out more about the food they eat and see they can actually go and pick it themselves.”

The burgeoning demand for locally grown foods is one reason Hoversten Orchard has stayed in business for 30 years, Hoversten said. Not only is there more of a market for the fruit of the orchard’s 5,000 apple trees, he’s been able to expand the crops he provides to corn, beans and other products. But it’s the apples that have everyone’s taste buds hooked.

“Apples you get at the store are picked before they are ripe,” he said. “We wait for them to develop more before picking them, so they have a better flavor. A ripe apple picked off the tree is the best you can get.”

Emmert and Hoversten both said they look forward to continuing to work together. “They are the sweetest people and they provide excellent customer service,” Emmert said of the Hoversten family. Several family members work together to run the orchard and farms. “I’m glad our students are able to benefit from this partnership and the orchard does, too. Everyone wins.”

For the past 15 years, Lunchtime Solutions has provided healthy and delicious meals to Dell Rapids students through the schools’ breakfast and lunch programs.

“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.”


Contact: Deb Emmert
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Dell Rapids City Council Approves Scoreboard Eagle Scout Project

ManualScoreboardThe Dell Rapids City Council gave the green light for an Eagle Scout project that will place manual scoreboards on two baseball fields at Dell Rapids City Park.  The approval was given during the council’s regular meeting on Monday, October 16th.

Jack Prasek presented plans to the council for a manual scoreboard to be given to the Dell Rapids Baseball association that he will build for his Eagle Scout project.  The scoreboard is planned to be placed on Field F on the south side of the river once completed.

“It will mostly be a simple scoreboard with a home score, guest score, and an inning.  We plan on having brothers or sisters doing the scoring at the games,” said Prasek during his presentation.

The manual scoreboard will start five feet off the ground and go to a height of ten feet.  The width of the scoreboard will be five feet.  Also included on the structure will be a walkway platform about two feet off the ground to be used to reach placing the scores.  There will be hooks placed on the scoreboard to hang numbers for the home score, guest score, and inning.  A lock box will also be built on the structure to store the numbers. DellRapidsFieldF

The cost of the project is estimated to be about $375-400.  Dell Rapids Lumber was chosen as the lumber company to purchase materials for the project.  The Dell Rapids Baseball Association will be paying for all the costs associated with the project.

None of the baseball fields have scoreboards at this point.  The hope is these manual scoreboards will be a benefit to the players and fans, and possibly these manual scoreboards will lead into digital boards sometime in the future.


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Dell Rapids School Collecting Shoes for Shoeless

ShoesForShoelessThe Dell Rapids school is collecting slightly used, wearable shoes for the “Shoes for Shoeless” program.  The shoes can be brought to the main office of the Dell Rapids Public School in the high school or middle school through Monday, October 30th.  The collected shoes will be given to the needy in the Sioux Falls area.  Any size is accepted.

This project is sponsored by the Dell Rapids Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Chapter.

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Two Dell Rapids City Employees Recognized

DellRapidsTowerTwo Dell Rapids city employees were given awards during the 84 Annual South Dakota Municipals League Conference held Tuesday, October 3rd through Friday, October 6th.  This year’s conference was held at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center in Sioux Falls.

City of Dell Rapids Code Enforcement Officer and Building Inspector Ben Gruis was awarded the annual Jim Fjerstad Safety Award.  This award goes to only one individual in South Dakota per year.

“Ben runs our safety program for our city.  He was recognized at a luncheon in front of everyone that was in attendance at the luncheon.  He was unaware that he was going to receive the award, and his wife was there, so it was a nice moment,” said City Administrator Justin Weiland at the Dell Rapids City Council meeting on Monday, October 16th.

Public Works Director Larry Schildhauer was also recognized during the conference.  Schildhauer was inducted into South Dakota Municipal League Hall of Fame during a luncheon.  Schildhauer has provided the city with 42 years of service.

“Governor Daugaard was the keynote speaker at that luncheon, and in the middle of his speech pointed at Larry and called out Larry for being his classmate.  Said what a great guy he was and  they don’t get to hang out enough.  He commended him for his years of service, so that was pretty nice moment as well,” Weiland also said during the council meeting.


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Dell Rapids Senior Bringing Mental Awareness to Community

SydneyLaCoursiereOctober is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month.  Dell Rapids High School senior Sydney LaCoursiere organized an event to bring mental health awareness to the community.  LaCourseire put together an event in which 112 luminary bags were placed around the football field, and fans that attended the Dell Rapids vs Flandreau football game were given a flier that talked about mental health issues.

LaCoursiere’s event came to be after thinking about a senior project and discussions with her mom.

“We were talking about how in the last 10 years our town has dealt with suicide.  We decided that the best way to do this was to start from the beginning.  Mental illness is what usually ends up going to suicide.  It was very hard to just straight up go into that topic, but I realized that some people need to know we’re here if you need to talk.”

Now that the event on Friday has come and gone, LaCoursiere does have plans to keep bringing awareness to the students and community.  She, along with help from the school, are trying to bring speakers into the school to talk about mental health to the students.  LaCoursiere said she has gotten a lot of support from the school to help come up with ideas and also help bring the ideas together.

Another idea LaCoursiere has had involves training.  “I don’t know if our teachers or faculty have a lot of training in these situations, but I was hoping maybe Mrs. Ruesink and I could work together and get some faculty on training, or even students that want to start to helping out and continue this so it doesn’t just end here,” she said.

According to South Dakota Prevention, one in five children ages 13-18 have or will have a mental illness.  LaCoursiere hopes that the event on Friday night along with continuing awareness throughout the year will help students know they have people they can speak with to help them deal with any mental issues they may have.

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Official Numbers Show Enrollment Increase at Dell Rapids

DRElementarySchoolOfficial enrollment numbers for Dell Rapids School District were announced during the Dell Rapids School Board’s regular meeting on Monday, October 9th.  The enrollment numbers were made official on the last Friday of September, which was September 29th.

The official number for the Dell Rapids School District is 931 students.  That is an increase of about 18 students from last year.

Dr. Summer Schulz said, “Biggest numbers since I’ve been here.”

The school board also approved the purchase of a new van to add to the school vehicle fleet during the meeting.  The second reading and adoption of the Criminal Background Check policy was also approved.


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City Council Updates from Oct 2nd

DellRapidsTowerThe Dell Rapids City Council met in regular session on Monday, October 2nd, at the Dell Rapids Fire Hall.  In a light agenda, the following items were discussed:

  • The Downtown Halloween Trick or Treat event permit was approved for Friday, October 27th.
  • Unpaid utility bills were approved to be sent to collections after a courtesy call was given.
  • Resolution No. 2017-12:  Minnehaha County Legislative Priorities was approved.
  • Administration updated the council that they are not ready to make a recommendation of a new website provider yet.
  • An update was given about the asphalt overlay project.  The areas that were completed were Harrison Avenue, Third Street south of the railroad tracks, two sections on Fifth and Sixth east of Iowa Avenue, and Third Street and Orleans on the truck route after the water main break.

After the meeting concluded, the council was given a tour of the fire hall.

The Dell Rapids City Council will meet again on Monday, October 16th, at 7:30 p.m.  The meeting will be at the City Chambers and can be seen on Big Sioux Media.

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Singers Selected for 2017 All-State Choir

music-2618342_1280Eight singers from Dell Rapids and four singers from Dell Rapids St Mary have been selected for the 2017 All-State Chorus and Orchestra performance.  This year’s concert will be held on Saturday, October 28th at 7:00 p.m. at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls.

Kathryn Fletcher, Amy Meyer, Sydney Stofferahn, Mercedes Lodmell, Alec Saxon, Andrew Weiland, Thomas Petrik, and Peyton Gleason have been selected to participate from Dell Rapids.  Morgan Brech, Abby Stauffenecker, and Riley Nyman were selected as alternates.  Participates from Dell Rapids St Mary are Courtney Geraets, Paige Bunkers, Noah Dennis, and Jon Bares.

This year’s guest conductor is Dr. Tim Seelig from San Francisco, CA.  Seelig is a conductor, singer, teacher, and motivational speaker.

Tickets for the concert are $19.00 for adult and student reserved section, $14.00 for adult general admission, or $8.00 for student general admission.

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Avera Dells Area Health Center to Host Community Blood Drive

Donations in Immediate Need

BloodDriveDell Rapids, SD- Community Blood Bank and Avera Dells Area Health will host a blood drive on Thursday, October 5 from 7:00 am to 11:00 am and 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm.   This blood drive will benefit the local blood supply and open to the public.

On average, a hip replacement typically uses one unit of blood, a cardiac bypass will use two units and a liver transplant requires at least six units. With just one donation a person will save up to three peoples’ lives. The whole donation process takes 30 to 35 minutes. You will help save a cancer, surgery, trauma, and burn patients with your donation.

“Blood donations have been lagging behind the demand for blood with many patients in need now,” states Ken Versteeg, Executive Director, Community Blood Bank. “We rely upon local volunteer blood donors to give blood on the bloodmobile when it visits the Dell Rapids community. Please consider giving blood to help improve the overall supply.”

To be eligible to donate you must be at least 17 years old, (16 years old with a signed parent consent found at weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good general health the day of the donation. There is no upper age limit to donate blood. Please bring an ID with you. It is recommended that a person eat and drink plenty of fluids prior to donating blood. For more information log onto or call 605-428-5431. Walk-ins are always welcome.

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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