Avera Tradition of Caring in KELOLAND donates $200,000 of free airtime

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — KELOLAND Media Group is donating $200,000 of free airtime to 15 non-profit organizations.

Monday, KELOLAND Media Group announced the 2022 recipients of the Avera Tradition of Caring in KELOLAND grants.

KELOLAND News stopped by a couple of them to find out more about their organizations and how they plan on using the free airtime.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Sioux Empire is one of 15 recipients that won free airtime on KELOLAND TV.

“Extremely thrilled to be one of the recipients of the Avera Tradition of Caring, just a wonderful opportunity for our organization,” CEO Rebecca Wimmer said.

Wimmer says she’s excited about the free airtime.

“One of the ways we plan on using it is just to continue to educate our community about what the Boys and Girls Club does in our community,” Wimmer said.

The Boys and Girls Club has 12 sites for early childhood and after-school programs where they watch 12 hundred kids daily.

Another recipient is Make-A-Wish South Dakota and Montana.

“Make a Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses, we serve kids between 2 and a half and 18 who have been diagnosed with critical illness,” Director Sue Salter said.

Salter says she’s grateful to KELOLAND Media Group for selecting Make-A-Wish to be one of this year’s awardees.

“Every wish begins with a referral so this airtime is going to be critically important to us so we can educate the public about who qualifies for a wish and how to refer them,” Salter said.

KELOLAND News was there when one of those kids received a camper as part of his wish.

We also tagged along when a young boy got a shopping spree at Scheels Sporting Goods store.

Since its founding in 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 340,000 wishes for young children.

“The Avera Tradition of Caring in KELOLAND continues to make a difference,” said Mari Ossenfort KELOLAND Media Group Vice President and General Manager. “Each year our television and digital marketing campaigns support the mission of each of the selected organizations. We look forward to serving these 15 worthy organizations in 2022.”

“We are grateful for a vibrant state, with a network of nonprofits that serve such important purposes,” said Lindsey Meyers, Vice President of Public Relations and Communications for Avera Health. “These organizations are making a real difference in people’s lives, and Avera is proud to support this work.”

Upon receiving word of the grant, Teddy Bear Den Executive Director Sandy Lown said, “Thank you for the fantastic news! I’m super excited to work with KELO. Thanks for changing the lives of women and children in Sioux Falls.”

In 2012, KELOLAND TV partnered with Avera Health for the Avera Tradition of Caring in KELOLAND by continuing and growing the program that began in 1998.

Both organizations work together in meeting the core goal of helping others in the community.

The organizations receiving grants are: Boys and Girls Club of the Sioux Empire, Bread Break, The Center, The Compass Center, Face It Together, Kids Chance of South Dakota, Make-A-Wish of South Dakota and Montana, Project Car, REACH Literacy, Teddy Bear Den, Area IV Senior Nutrition, The Right Turn, Lifeways, WAVI, and YMCA of Rapid City.WAVI, and YMCA of Rapid City.

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