Compassion Project sculpture unveiled

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There’s something new to see along the Big Sioux River in downtown Sioux Falls.

A big bronze dove spreading its wings can now be found along the Big Sioux River near Lutheran Social Services’ downtown location.

It’s part of the Compassion Project, an effort inspired by the late Fern Chamberlain.

“There are very few sculptures in our community that specifically are dedicated to women and specifically dedicated to the social services field so today we are rectifying that,” Compassion Project committee chair Janet Kittams said.

Chamberlain was a longtime social worker in South Dakota.

She founded what’s known today as the Helpline Center, and she played roles in starting other core non-profits in the community.

“She touched thousands of lives through her life and her legacy continues to impact countless others,” Kittams said.

The sculpture called “Compassion” is just over ten feet from wing tip to wing tip.

Darwin Wolf is the sculptor behind this bronze bird that will be seen by many strolling and rolling on the trail.

“We want to get kind of an attitude of compassion going in the community. We could use it. We have a lot of folks coming in who could use some help,” Sculptor Darwin Wolf said.

Gloria Houle is a member of the Compassion Project committee. Houle and Chamberlain were also friends.

“I hope this will be a special place for people to come and maybe stop for generations to come because it will be here long after I’m gone,” Fern’s friend Gloria Houle said.

And as the sculpture stands along the river for years to come, the hope is it will inspire others to be compassionate.

You can still donate to the Compassion Project.

The money will help maintain the sculpture and the website, and it will also help create an annual compassion award.

If you’d like to donate, click here.

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