Detractors say Stampede Dash for Cash tramples teachers dignity

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — An event organized by the Sioux Falls Stampede is drawing criticism from around the world.

The “Dash for Cash” enlisted 10 area teachers who ended up on their hands and knees grabbing one-dollar bills for their classrooms. Some feel the event was demeaning to the teachers. Monday night, the team and a sponsor are apologizing.

The Dash for Cash event took place Saturday night. $5,000 provided by CU Mortgage Direct was spread out on a tarp on the ice. The teachers, wearing helmets, grabbed as much cash as they could stuff into their t-shirts and hats for their classrooms. Video and photos of the event exploded on Twitter and other social media outlets. Newsweek, the Washington Post and even Sky News with its international audience carried the story.

On Twitter one person said this:

Another said this:

The South Dakota Education Association President says he believes the event was well-intentioned but…

“It just underscores the fact that educators don’t have the resources necessary to meet the needs of their students and that’s what’s kind of cropping up here I think,” SDEA President Loren Paul said.

Paul supports the teachers who took part and says they were just doing what they could to help their students.

Before the event, one of the teachers we talked with, Barry Langden from Harrisburg, told us he thought it would be a great way to raise money for his e-sports team.

A promotional event, meant as a win-win for the teachers and the Stampede, the Dash for Cash may not be generating the type of goodwill and publicity organizers hoped for. However, the event is bringing attention to teacher pay in South Dakota, which is still the lowest in the country.

Paul says a six percent pay increase proposed by the governor last week will help and is appreciated.

The Stampede released a statement saying it apologizes to all teachers for any embarrassment the event may have caused.

The statement goes on to say that with CU Mortgage Direct, the team will be providing an additional $500 to the teachers who participated as well as the other teachers who applied for the event.

Read the full statement from the Stampede and CU Mortgage Direct below:

On Saturday, December 11th, the Sioux Falls Stampede, in partnership with CU Mortgage Direct, hosted their first ever Dash For Cash promotion.  Although our intent was to provide a positive and fun experience for teachers, we can see how it appears to be degrading and insulting towards the participating teachers and the teaching profession as a whole. We deeply regret and apologize to all teachers for any embarrassment this may have caused.

The promotion was intended to help raise funds for area teachers and their classrooms. The Stampede received 31 applications and ten were randomly selected to participate. The ten teachers participating received over a combined $5,000 and a minimum of $500 each. Each teacher was profiled and introduced prior to the event as we highlighted their school and what the funds would be used for.  

We take our role in the community seriously and work hard to support area non-profit groups in a variety of ways. Through the incredible support of our fans and corporate partners we are able to raise over $200,000 annually for local charities. 

Together with CU Mortgage Direct we will be providing an additional $500 to those teachers that participated in the event as well as providing $500 to those additional 21 applicants that were not able to participate. In total, the Stampede and CU Mortgage Direct will contribute an additional $15,500 to area teachers.

Moving forward, the Stampede and CU Mortgage Direct will continue to support our teachers and will work with the SD Teachers Association on future events that will provide funding for our next generation. CU Mortgage Direct and the Stampede will have no further comment at this time.

The Dash for Cash is not new. Hockey teams all over the country have been doing this very same thing for years. The Green Bay Gamblers have been spreading cash on the ice for teachers since 2013.

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