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.

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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.

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Highway 115 South of Dell Rapids Now Open

Hwy115_Sept2018A portion of the final phase of the Highway 115 project has completed.  The north bridge from 3rd St southward out of Dell Rapids was opened by the South Dakota Department of Transportation in the late afternoon hours of Wednesday, September 5th.  The north bridge has been closed to traffic since December 4th, 2017 to start the final phase of this major highway construction project.

“It will eliminate the detour, which is be a big relief to the community.  It’s been a slog,” said City Administrator Justin Weiland during the Dell Rapids City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 4th.

Construction still continues on Highway 115 from the four-way stop by T&Cs and Dells Auto westward out toward the interstate as projects all across the state are falling behind schedule.

“T&R is doing the Tea-Ellis road, and they’re talking about not even tearing up sections that are supposed to get done this year, and calling it quits and finishing where they’re at right now because they’re not going to get to it.  Hopefully they shift some of that man power over here.  Everybody’s way, way behind all across the state right now.  We might be stuck with this late into the winter season,” Weiland mentioned during the council meeting. Hwy115_Sept2018_2

The first phase of the project, the replacement of the south bridge on Highway 115 and highway replacement to 248th St., began in April of 2016.  That section was completed in a little over a year with the bridge and new road opening May of 2017.

The second phase of the $18.8 million Highway 115 project was the replacement of the Interstate 29 interchange at exit 98.  That portion of the project was re-opened to traffic on November 29th, 2017.

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New Structures Completed for Dell Rapids Baseball/Softball

Two new structures are installed and ready for use by baseball and softball players in Dell Rapids.  A brand new batting cage was completed that is located along the right field fence of Field E on the south side diamonds, and a new wooden scoreboard has been installed on Field A on the north side diamonds at City Park.NewDRBABattingCage

The batting cage was a joint effort between the Dell Rapids Baseball Association and Dell Rapids Softball Association to help provide more practice space for the increasing number of youth that are participating in baseball and softball in Dell Rapids.  The Dell Rapids City Council approved the construction and location of the new batting cage in a meeting back in February.  Throughout the summer, the boards worked with local companies and contractors to keep the costs as low as possible.  The Dell Rapids Baseball Association was also able to secure grants from the South Dakota VFW and Dells Community Foundation to help offset some costs.

DRBAManualScoreboard2018The new wooden manual scoreboard that was installed on Field A was the completion of an Eagle Scout project by Ethan Geraets.  It’s similar to the wooden scoreboard that was installed on Field F as part of an Eagle Scout project by Jack Prasek.

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Revive Fitness Holds 4th Annual 5k Event

Revive5k_2018_1On a beautiful Saturday morning at the Dell Rapids City Park, Revive Fitness held their 4th Annual Revive & Connections Family Fun Event on August 25th.  The day was full of great weather and lots of fun.  The event consisted of a 5k, 10k, one mile fun run, kid’s relay, bounce houses, and more.  The Farmer’s Market also set up at the city park during the event.

Prior to the start of the races, Revive Fitness owner Brittani Bollock and her husband Lee were recognized for the work they do for this event.  They plan this event every year with all of the proceeds going to the Dell Rapids Connections group.  The money raised from this event help provide the Connections group with enough funds to plan different events through the year.  Some of the more recent events that have been held are a social media awareness event, Bobby Bugatti, and a mental health presentation.

Revive5k_2018_2

 

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Dells Theatre Hosting South Dakota Movie Premieres

Armando Gutierrez as the Ringmaster in Little MermaidThe Dells Theatre is celebrating its 80th anniversary this month by hosting back-t0-back South Dakota premieres of two movies and bringing in the stars or producers of those movies. The art deco theatre was designed by famed Minneapolis theatre architect Perry Crosier. It opened on August 19, 1938. Logan Luxury Theatres Corporation purchased it in 1998 and is the third and current owner of the theatre. They have constantly restored and upgraded the theatre since purchasing it.

“The Little Mermaid” will premiere Thursday night (August 23rd) with a special reception for actor/producer Armando Gutierrez at the Dells Rapids Museum at 5:30. At 7:00, Gutierrez will go to the red carpet event at the Dells Theatre where he will introduce the movie and answer questions following the screening. The movie will play for the next eight days through Thursday, August 30. It will start a week’s engagement on Friday, August 24 at the other Logan Luxury Theatres locations, the Luxury 5 Cinemas in Mitchell and Huron Luxury Cinemas in Huron.

Armando Gutierrez plays a lead role and is the producer of the live action version of “The Little Mermaid.” This movie is based on the characters from the original story by Hans Christian Anderson.   Gutierrez will be in Mitchell Friday, August 24. He will make an appearance at the new Mitchell Indoor Aquatics Center at 5:30 with a live mermaid. At 6:30, he will be driven to the Luxury 5 Cinemas for a red carpet event. Gutierrez will introduce the movie and answer questions after the movie.   “The Little Mermaid” will play for one week through Thursday, August 30, and may be held over another week.

In this new story, a grandmother (played by Shirley MacLaine) tells her daughters the story of the Little Mermaid but they don’t believe until she tells them a tale of her own. A young reporter finds a circus with a beautiful mermaid trapped in a glass box. The mermaid appears to the girls as a woman with legs. The girls soon learn of a prophecy about a girl born on land blessed with the heart of a mermaid. As the prophecy comes to life they become entangled in a plot by a sinister wizard.

Gutierrez produced “Walt Before Mickey” which had its Midwestern Premiere at the three Logan Luxury theatres two years ago. Gutierrez is excited about his new movie and is anxious to return to South Dakota. He said, “We hope that the South Dakota Premieres will bestow “The Little Mermaid” with the same attention and success as “Walt Before Mickey” enjoyed.”

More information and the trailer can be found on the movie’s website at www.thelittlemermaid.tv

“Farmer of the Year”, which was shot around Tyler, MN and in South Dakota at the Corn Palace, will have its South Dakota Premiere on Friday, August 31. The film was written by Tyler, MN native and farmer’s daughter, Kathy Swanson. It was produced by her and her husband, Vince O’Connell, who have been taking it to film festivals around the country.

O’Connell and Swanson will be in Dell Rapids Friday afternoon (August 31st) to promote the film. They will then travel to Mitchell for a public reception with the producers at the Second Floor Art Gallery at the Corn Palace at 5:30. They will be driven to the Luxury 5 Cinemas at 6:30 for a red carpet event where they will introduce the movie. They will also answer questions following the screening.

Saturday they will be at the Freedom Stage at the State Fair in Huron as guests of the SD Farmer’s Union.   That evening, they will be at the red carpet event at 7:00 the Huron Luxury Cinemas to sign autographs and introduce the film.

The comedy-drama is an affectionate look at farm life and generational differences. A widowed 83-year-old Minnesota farmer sells his farm to his daughter. Bored with retirement, he decides to travel with his rebellious granddaughter across country in his 40-year-old Winnebago to a reunion of his World War Two army outfit. On the way, they stop at the Corn Palace and other locations in South Dakota and Nebraska.

Sioux Falls resident and Stepping Stones counselor Arin Winger along with Mitchell residents Cheryl Miller, John, Lori and Ryan Solberg have parts in the movie.

“Farmer of the Year” has been selected to play at film festivals across the country. It won the Audience Choice Award at the Minneapolis St. Paul Film Festival and was an Audience Choice finalist at the Sedona, Arizona Film Festival. It was nominated for Best Feature Film and Best Actor for Barry Corbin at the Soho International Film Festival in New York City.

More information and the trailer can be found on the movie’s website at www.yellowhousefilms.com/home/farmeroftheyear

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One Woman, One Horse And 48 States

cherry and apollo

Meredith Cherry and her horse, Apollo Photo courtesy of Dells City Journal

Meredith Cherry and her horse, Apollo, have set out on a journey to cover 10,000 miles on a four-year ride around the United States. The ride is to raise awareness about domestic violence. The “silent epidemic,” as it is known, is extremely prevalent in today’s society. Domestic violence is not often talked about, and it is estimated that one in three women will become victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives. The age range for domestic violence victims is usually anywhere from 19 to 34 years old. Cherry has named her journey “The Centauride”.

Cherry and Apollo will ride through the 48 states and visit places such as domestic violence centers, women’s shelters, schools and community centers to help bring awareness and the reality of the issue to attention. They also want to provide hope for the women that have dealt with and are still dealing with the effects of domestic violence.

Cherry started her journey back in January of 2017 and has a goal to ride into the last of the 48 states in 2020. “I wanted to travel, but couldn’t decide on a place. So I just decided to ride all 48 states,” said Cherry. She prepared for her journey for over two years. Some of those preparations have included training, fitness, mapping, and logistical planning. The horse lover has a degree in Equine Science from Colorado State University.  “I have a wide range of knowledge in horses even if I don’t have a lifetime of experience,” stated Cherry. “It’s what I love, and it sounded like a lot more of an enjoyable way to travel than riding my bike all over the states.”

Back in 2014 is when Apollo found his home with his owner. He was the first horse that Cherry had owned. Cherry has been riding horses for roughly 20 years now. She escaped her own domestic violence relationship a few years ago, but the one thing she missed the most during her marriage was riding horses and traveling. Cherry decided to bring Apollo home and have him be her partner for the long journey that was ahead of her. “He knows his job. I basically don’t have to steer until we get to a corner, or if there is a car coming he knows to move over, and I don’t have to tell him so much anymore. I still do just for safety, but he knows that he has to move over if there is a car coming,” said Cherry. “He knows his job real well and for the most part he likes it. He’s at this point where he’s desensitized to everything, basically.”

Come winter seasons Cherry and Apollo make their way back home and take a break from riding until the warmer months come around again. “During the winter when I was working on my plans for this year, I was not looking forward to riding through the Midwest. ‘Booooorrrrinng,’ I said.  I figured it would be one long flat trudge through cornfields. I am happy to admit that I was wrong.  The Midwest is a great place.  There are more nice people here, the scenery is not actually boring, and while yes there is a lot of corn, it’s very pretty corn.  And there is plenty more to see and experience than cornfields,” stated Cherry. “It’s really nice here.  We did mountains pretty much all of last year; one mountain range or another, so it’s really nice to see these nice rolling hills. It’s a lot better than mountains.”

When planning her trip she was “warned” that in the Midwest there were only houses every fifteen miles and there were no places in between. “I thought, well that is kind of frightening because I have to stop every fifteen miles, so I hope everyone is friendly. But it’s not like that at all,” said Cherry.

On Friday, August 17th, Cherry and Apollo made there way into the Dell Rapids community. South Dakota is the eighteenth state on their list of the 48 states. Their route for their journey has changed a few times over the course of the adventure, but has stayed pretty close to the original route planned. The most recent of routes can be found on her website, http://www.centauride.org, as she tries to keep updated on where they are headed next. Cherry has recently changed her route and is working on getting the updated map on her site. “It will still be the same at least for the Chicago area,” said Cherry. “Seeing America at 3 mph is wonderful, but the slow pace requires that I be very efficient and careful about selecting my route.” Cherry typically tries to go north in the summer months and more to the south in the winter months to be able to get as much riding in as possible over the course of the year. “I don’t have to think too hard about when to set my alarm, nor do I need to ponder what I’m going to do with the hours in my day, but the actual routine itself is not easy nor simple,” stated Cherry.

After riding through South Dakota, Cherry and Apollo plan to make their way into North Dakota and over to Minnesota. They will continue their journey with plans of crossing the finish line of state number 48 sometime during the year of 2020. Until then, they will continue to bond over their amazing adventure and continue to raise awareness of domestic violence here in the United States while enjoying the best views they possibly can.

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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
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Dell Rapids Dental Holds Ribbon Cutting

DellRapidsDentalRibbon_1Dell Rapids Dental held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with the Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, August 14th, at their office in Dell Rapids at 108 W. 4th St.  The ribbon cutting was also part of an ice cream social event to introduce the public to two new doctors to the practice.

Dr. Matt Ford and Dr. Sara Robison joined the practice earlier in 2018.  Dr. Ford is originally from Sioux Falls and a graduate of Lincoln High School.  Dr. Ford attended Morningside College in Sioux City, IA and then attended dental school at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine in Glendale, AZ.  Dr. Ford was practicing dentistry in rural Minnesota for the last three years.

Dr. Robison grew up in Utah and graduated college from the University of Utah.  Dr. Robison also went to get her dental degree from Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine.  Dr. Robison was recently practicing around the Ft. Worth, TX area.

Dr. Ford and Dr. Robison, along with Dr. Leslie Heinemann will continue to have the dentist office in Dell Rapids along with an office located at 406 W. Pipestone Ave. in Flandreau.  They offer general dentistry services including whitening, crowns, bridges, root canals, Invisalign, implants, and oral surgery.

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Area Senior Companions Celebrate 40th Anniversary with Recognition Lunch

August 16, 2018 – Senior Companions of South Dakota celebrated 40 of years of service recognizing the Senior Companions that serve the Charles Mix, Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, Turner, and Yankton Counties. The 40th Anniversary Celebration was held at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church on Wednesday, August 8th in Sioux Falls. Along with a buffet lunch, Senior Companions, staff, and guests were entertained by “Somewhere in Time” barbershop quartet of Sioux Falls.

Senior Companions from Dell Rapids recognized for their service:
Up to one year of service with a certificate: Theresa Roberts, also received the Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award for service over 500 hours; seven years of service: Marjorie Johns, also received the Lifetime President’s Service Award for service over 4,000 hours.

Senior Companions provide in-home services to older persons and other adults in need. They assist others with grocery shopping, meal preparation, light housekeeping, transportation to doctor appointments, and various daily tasks necessary to maintaining independence. This service is provided free of charge. Without the help of Senior Companions, many older adults would not be able to continue living in their own home and might require placement in a nursing home or assisted living facility. In 2017, 66 Senior Companions in South Dakota provided 57,417 hours of service to their 358 clients. These Senior Companions are the foundation of one of South Dakota’s most positive programs. Their dedication to the clients they serve is a blessing to the clients, the clients’ families, and communities.

Our Companions LOVE what they do and are not shy about telling people how much the program benefits not only the clients they serve but also themselves. Our Companions often remark that they feel they are really making a difference in their clients’ lives and are rewarded in many ways, making this a truly enjoyable volunteer experience.

Senior Companions enjoy many benefits, including: an hourly tax-free stipend, mileage reimbursement, paid training, paid personal leave, paid holidays, accident insurance, friendships with peers, and the satisfaction of helping others. If you are 55 or older and enjoy helping others and looking for a way to impact the lives of the senior population in your community, become a SENIOR COMPANION! We are now accepting applications. If you are interested in learning more about Senior Companions of SD, call 605-361-1133 or toll-free 1-888-239-1210 or visit the website at: http://www.good- sam.com/scpsd/.

SF Group PhotoSenior Companions serving Charles Mix, Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, Turner, and Yankton counties:
Back row, left to right:  Betty Berry, Irene Nelsen, Donna Ligtenberg, Bill Wood, Geraldine Schnabel, Kip Steinberg, Marge Johns, Wanda Sanftleben, Audrey Weidenbach, Jon Youngberg, Joseph Oleson, Lorna Gardner, and Shirley Larson
Middle Row, left to right:  Loretta Hill, Pat Humphrey, Lorraine Damm, Carolyn Anderson, Rosemary Kilment, and Marilyn Hobert
Front row, left to right:  Donna VanHouten, Dorothy Nelson, Cindy McFadden, Connie Peters, Arlene Jockheck, Theresa Roberts, Dee Hass, Bernice Kjos, and Gloria Kolbeck.

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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/

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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
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Dell Rapids Library Releases Final Summer Numbers

LibraryDedication-2Brittany Moeller, the Dell Rapids Carnegie Library Director, presented the Dell Rapids City Council with the final summer reading program numbers for 2018 during the council’s regular meeting on Monday, August 6th.  The summer reading program officially ended the last week in July this year.

“The total sign up for babies through adults for the summer reading program was 654 people.  That’s an increase of more than 220 people from last year, so that’s amazing!  Our numbers just skyrocketed.  We had double the amount of adults and teens sign up, and those are our two hardest groups to get signed up for the summer reading program.  So to have those numbers double was pretty exciting to see,” said Moeller.  In 2017 the library had a total of 426 people register for the program.

There were a total of six different programs for babies through adults.  The library had just under 2,000 people attend just the program, which is nearly double from last year’s number.  That number doesn’t include people who came into the library just to use the computer or check out books.  There were a total of 934 participants that attended five different programs in 2017.

So far in 2018, the library has issued 71 new library cards for a total of 206 new people to the library.  In 2017 the library issued 92 library cards for a total of 212 new people.

“We’ve had a record-breaking summer, and it’s been super exciting and a lot of fun,” Moeller added.

Moeller also said that they would like to keep this trend going, keep seeing people come into the library to participate in the programs, and do all the fun activities.

After the report of the new numbers, Dell Rapids Councilman Gary Haak asked Moeller what she would like to see in the future for the library in terms of programming and reaching out into the community.

“We would like to definitely expand the programs that we do.  Libraries aren’t the same as they were 20 years ago.  The library that my older siblings were used to where they came in and they checked out all these research books to write their papers and that kind of stuff, they still kind of do that, but a lot of that is online.  So now the library’s role is changing.  What we provide now is a place for community members to gather, to be together, to learn new things, to have new experiences whether it’s story time for their kids or offering photography classes or different ways we can involve community members.  We would love to do more things like that, really expand not only the programming that we have at the library, but what else we can do outside of the library in the community, doing more with the schools, and partnering more with the daycares and centers like that.  That’s kind of our main goal,” Moeller responded.

“When we look back at spending the money to add on to this, it shows that we did it right.  Probably didn’t build it big enough now, I don’t know.  If it’s growing like this, it’s good to see,” Haak commented.

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