SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Barrel House in Sioux Falls is going all out this Saturday to help feed kids in town who can’t afford school lunches. The third annual Hungry Hearts Fundraiser is an all-day event. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised for the Sioux Falls School District’s lunch program in previous years.
What started out as a dip in the fundraising pool has turned into a full-fledged dunk.
Mark Fonder: It’s been truly amazing. I think we’ve raised over $250,000 so far. Hopefully we can keep adding to that total.
Matt Holsen: Did you ever imagine you’d reach that level?
Mark Fonder: No.
Barrel House owner Mark Fonder says the community really steps up by bidding on $50,000 worth of auction items that go live online starting tonight. Fonder also donates 100-percent of food sales from the event.
“The kids aren’t eating so I definitely want to make sure they get fed,” Fonder said.
Getting food to kids so they can focus on their studies. It’s a cause that’s brought out local leaders over the years including Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken.
“It’s a beautiful day and a beautiful cause that the Barrel House puts on each year. Honestly, when kids are well fed, they’re ready to learn, ” Tenhaken said.
20-30 volunteers are needed to make this Saturday’s party happen. A volunteer last year walked away with a new Jeep. A 2018 Fiat Spider is being auctioned off this time around and there’s a lot more to look forward to.
“We have a rock climbing wall this year. That’s new. The dunk tank. Inflatables for the kids. We have a live band that night. It’s a fun all-day event,” Fonder said.