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Spearfish Community Foundation awards more than $52K at annual grant breakfast

February 9, 2019 GMT

SPEARFISH — The Spearfish Community Foundation awarded more than $52,000 to 24 nonprofit community service groups Thursday during its annual grant breakfast at the Spearfish Canyon Golf Club.

Organizations receiving grants in 2019 include: Action for the Betterment of our community, a prevention intervention program for adolescents; Victims of Violence Intervention Program/Artemis House; CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of the Northern Hills; Compass Point/Northern Hills Alcohol and Drug Services; Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons; Good Shepherd Clinic; Kenadi Jean Weis Foundation; Lawrence County Teen Court; Lutheran Social Services-Canyon Hills Center; Matthews Opera House; NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources; Northern Hills Sources of Support; Realtors for Kids; S.D. Center for Enterprise Opportunity; S.D. Project Learning Tree; Spearfish High School Skills USA; Spearfish High School science/Underground Flow Meter Network with the Sanford Lab; Spearfish Middle School Student Council; Spearfish Foundation for Public Education; Spearfish Nutrition Site; Spearfish Senior Citizen Center; St. Vincent de Paul; and Volunteers of America Northern Rockies, to send youth from Spearfish to camp.

Representatives from each organization receiving grants had a time to speak about the mission of the organization and how the grant funds would be used, as well as how community members could get involved. Each voiced their appreciation for the grant funds to assist in serving the people in the area with various needs, from meals and housing, to education, to drug prevention and intervention, to mental health, and beyond.

“Thanks to the Spearfish Community Foundation, we’ve been able to place an adaptive swing seat, a universal expression swing, and now, an accessible backhoe digger in neighborhood parks so that children with disabilities can play alongside their able-bodied friends,” Lori Deibert, of the Kenadi Jean Weis Foundation, said.

Mary Pochop, of the Spearfish Foundation for Public Education, talked about the two of the programs currently in place at Spearfish Middle School, Newsela and EmWave2 devices, which the grant was helping to fund.

“These are really neat and unusual program that we couldn’t fund without your help, so thank you so much,” she said.

“Thank you very much; we appreciate it; and I know that the neighbors in need that we help appreciate it,” Max Merchen, president of the local St. Vincent de Paul Society chapter, said, describing that the funds would assist with rent and utility assistance — which, during the frigid temperatures, is especially important.

“There’s a lot of needs out there. … I’d like to thank you guys for what you do,” Myles Kennedy, of Volunteers of America Northern Rockies, said. “I’ve been around Spearfish a long time. Spearfish is a great community, and they’re a giving community, and you look at all the good people here and all the good nonprofits. We couldn’t do it without this community and the people that are thoughtful and donate, and I’d like to thank you for that again.”

The Spearfish Community Foundation Board includes President Liz Manning; Vice President Sue Konstant; Secretary Melissa Barnett; Correspondence Coordinator Kari Engen; Ida Marie Snorteland, Scott Odenbach, Letti Lister, Stephen Reichert, Kaija Swisher, and Angie Leonard.

The foundation, formed in 1998, allocates funds to nonprofit and charitable organizations in the Spearfish area through a grant request and selection process that takes place in the late fall. All grant recommendations must then meet the approval of the South Dakota Community Foundation before distribution takes place.

Including to the grants provided Thursday, the Spearfish Community Foundation has granted more than $400,000 over the last decade.

For more information, visit sdcommunityfoundation.org/csa/spearfish-community-foundation/ or the Spearfish Community Foundation Facebook page.

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