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Special Olympics South Dakota Announces New Facility

April 15, 2014, 5:08 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Special Olympics South Dakota Announces New Facility
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

The Special Olympics of South Dakota announced a new fundraising campaign that will help build a one of a kind training facility in Sioux Falls.

"This is going to be the first center like this in the nation. In Sioux Falls, South Dakota. That's big folks," Miles Beacom, CEO of PREMIER Bankcard, said.

The Unify Center will be a 16,000 square foot facility to give Special Olympians a space of their own to train.

Tuesday, Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce's Community Appeals Committee announced this project as their Capital Campaign.

Beacom is the co-chair for the campaign and says getting practice time has been tough for Special Olympians in the state.

"What's really frustrating is when you have those gyms reserved and you get a phone call saying there's been another priority and you need to find another place and another time," Beacom said.

Two women who have been involved with Special Olympics in South Dakota for 20 years were at the announcement.

Chana Sandoval and her mother Barb talked about how the organization has helped Chana come out of her shell.

"I just moved into an apartment with friends this summer and I worked at the mall. I have been able to do many things with Special Olympics I never would have been able to do," Chana said. 

"20 years ago, Chana would not leave my side. If I needed to go to the bathroom, she'd have to go with me. So it really truly has been a huge part of our lives. Chana has grown so much. And I have grown," Barb said.

While supporters are excited about the prospect of a new facility, raising funds can be tricky.

"This is an incredible battle that lies ahead. Sioux Falls, South Dakota, corporations, individuals we need your help in such a major, major way," Mayor Mike Huether said.

The total cost of the facility is $1.9 Million dollars. One million will come from the Sioux Falls Chamber Capital Campaign, and the remaining $900,000 will be raised throughout the state.  So far, they have already raised 35 percent of the overall goal.

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