We’re on the banks of the Missouri River in Mobridge, South Dakota where there is so much going on. None of it happens without stewardship and we’re going to introduce to a woman who is leading that effort.
“She’s been retired as long as I’ve known her, and she’s working harder than anybody else in town. I think it must be born in her or her parents raised her right or something. I don’t know. I too, do a lot, but I get wore out. So it’s, I mean, to have her in town, it’s just amazing for us,” said Rick Bolduan.
Rick Bolduan is the co-chair of the Mobridge Chamber Tourism Committee. His good friend, Carol Lehrkamp, is known as the town’s “all everything.”
“Every time you see her, your face just lights up. You got to get a hug from her. I met her probably 19 years ago. The first day I walked in the Chamber office, and it was like, “Hi, how are you?” I mean, just a great person. She got to know you right away and I’ve noticed ever since, every time I show up, she’s there and just brings a smile to your face,” said Rick Bolduan. :16 :53
Harley Overseth has lived and worked in Mobridge his entire life. He, too, has witnessed Carol in action and truly values her stewardship.
“Carol is amazing. She’s, in any small town, you need somebody who’s gonna step up when you’re asked to contribute in some way and Carol has done it in many, many ways,” said Harley Overseth.
“I mean she’s just everywhere. She’s one of those go to people that we contact here in Mobridge to get something done.”
“Love it,” said Mike Huether.
Carol grew up on the family farm and ranch in Gettysburg and moved to Mobridge in 1975. At 82-years old, she has been retired for awhile but you would never know it. She is swamped.
“When you retire, you can’t just sit around. You need to keep busy. That’s what keeps you going, and keeps you active, the active. When you’re active in your life, your health will be better, and so will your outcome will be better. You’ll have a better attitude, and, and people can do that for you,” said Carol Lehrkamp.
Carol is certainly a people person. She can’t get enough of them or the causes and organizations working to make Mobridge even better. Here are a few examples.
“The Moose Lodge, the local Chamber of Commerce, her church,” said Harley Overseth. “Shriners. She’s helped with Eastern Star, and so she’s done a lot of things and a lot of different areas in Mobridge.”
“She’s involved in the rodeo. She helps the Chamber out and many things and helped with our ice fishing tournament which is a huge event for Mobridge. She handles all the food. Gets all the ladies to help out. She’s at the Moose, she’s at the Legion. I mean, everywhere you turn around, there she is,” said Rick Bolduan.
She volunteers at the Thrift Store, American Legion Auxiliary, Achievement Days in Selby, the Senior Citizens, the Kline Museum and more. When Mobridge or someone from out of town calls, Carol is the one who answers and takes action.
“When I do volunteer here at the Chamber of Commerce, I like to answer people’s questions and give them the things that we do around our city. I volunteer to tell them things to do and visit in our city and around our area,” said Carol Lehrkamp.
“So, are you the Welcome Wagon for Mobridge?” asked Mike Huether.
“I guess you might say that. I’d love that, yes,” said Carol Lehrkamp. :20 2:54
When Taylor and I were visiting with the locals during our stay, it seemed like everyone in town knew of Carol.
“In any town, where it’s small or large, you need people that are willing to contribute their time and energy to try to make it better,” said Harley Overseth.
“And Carol Lehrkamp is kind of your example for Mobridge?” asked Mike Huether.
“She is. Yes, she certainly is,” said Harley Overseth.
Mobridge recognized the way Carol gives back to her town in a big way at their famous annual rodeo that occurs on the second, third and fourth of July. She was named the Grand Marshall of the Mobridge Sitting Bull Stampede in 2019.
“I was on the board at that time,” said Rick Bolduan.
“Okay,” said Mike Huether.
“Grand Marshalls have always been past presidents. And I don’t know if she was ever on the board for the rodeo, but she’s helped out and what she’s done in the community, is better for our rodeo than anything, any past president’s done,” said Rick Bolduan
“I was so shocked. I couldn’t believe it. I opened my mouth, I guess they told me that my mouth was wide open. But it was so exciting and, and so humbling and such a great honor,” said Carol Lehrkamp.
“I’m pretty proud of her. I mean, I got to know her 19 years ago and she’s just, she’s almost like a second mom. Whenever I see her, I give her a hug and we talk and laugh and ‘Hey, what’s going on? What’s happening?’,” said Rick Bolduan.
Carol gets an early morning jump start with a morning walk on each and every precious day she is given on Earth.
“I usually go between 6 and 6:15 in the morning. And I’m usually the only one out. It’s a wonderful time to be out, because the birds are singing, it’s a good time to talk to God, and it’s good exercise,” said Carol Lehrkamp.
“She’s full of energy and she doesn’t want to just sit back and relax. She want’s to be out there and active and involved and were glad she’s here,” said Harley Overseth. “As a community, we rely on each other to make ourselves successful. And we need to continue to support each other and give back and try to help our community in the best way we can.”
“What’s going to slow you down, Carol Lehrkamp?” asked Mike Huether.
“A bad illness, I think. But I’m trying to say strong. My doctor says I’m in good shape. My therapist says I’m in good shape. So, I think I’ll keep going,” said Carol Lehrkamp.
If you want to see Carol in action, along with other great stewards in Mobridge, don’t miss the town’s popular annual ice fishing tournament held on the 2nd Saturday in January or the Mobridge Sitting Bull Stampede held on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of July each year. Memories in the making!