SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — This is Angela Kennecke’s last day at KELOLAND News.

She’s one of the most familiar faces here in our KELOLAND studio. She’s also led the investigative team at KELOLAND News.

As many of you know, after the death of her daughter, Emily, Angela has devoted a lot of her time to a non-profit aimed at erasing the stigma of addiction and stopping Fentanyl poisonings.

After 35 years at KELOLAND, all sorts of awards, the SD Hall of Fame, from those of us who work with her to you the viewer, Angela is a big part of our lives. She is leaving to dedicate more of her time to Emily’s Hope.

“So we have a big mission we want to get as many people into treatment that are suffering from substance-use disorder as possible and I’m also going to be working on a prevention education curriculum, which is K-12 so we are actually going into the elementary schools starting this year to start teaching kids what medications are, the dangers of illegal drugs in age appropriate ways,” Angela said.

Emily’s Hope will focus on awareness, education, treatment and even provide scholarships for art students.
Emily was a prolific painter.

“You know, I just feel called; it’s almost like a vocation to try to save lives in Emily’s name. I just don’t want any other family to go through what my family has been through and if I can just save one life, if just one person gets into recovery or chooses not to do an illegal substance that most likely is laced with Fentanyl then I will have completed that mission,” Angela said.

Angela’s mom is a writer and encouraged her to be one as well. By the time, she was 12 she knew what she wanted to do.

“I always wanted to tell stories and I love the visual medium of television,” Angela said.

Tom Hanson: What have the KELOLAND viewers meant to you?
Kennecke: Our viewers are fantastic. You know they have watched me through three pregnancies. They supported me through the death of my oldest child and every night, they tune in and they let me know what they like and what they don’t like and I feel like I have a really incredible relationship with our viewers and truly that is what I will miss the most.