(DE SMET, SD) – De Smet High School students are joining together this October to raise funds and awareness through their first –ever “Bulldogs Bark Back @ Cancer” campaign. Throughout the entire month, students will be leading fundraising efforts with the Horizon Health Foundation to benefit De Smet and Kingsbury County residents undergoing cancer treatment and to help with related expenses.
As the students begin kicking off their campaign, American Bank & Trust, has committed to boosting the students’ efforts by agreeing to match what the students raise during the month, up to a total of $3,000 – which means double the impact for Kingsbury County.
“We are aware of the high incidence of cancer in our community and Kingsbury County,” said Don Churchill, Market President of American Bank & Trust. “We are also very supportive of our youth in the area. Being able to be part of a cause that champions both issues in one common goal is ideal for us and the community.”
All of the money raised from the Bulldog’ campaign will be directed to the Horizon Health Foundation. Horizon Health Care cares for patients in De Smet and the surrounding areas affected by cancer and will work with the Foundation following the event to disburse funds accordingly. A similar event was held in Howard last year (Tigers Step Up 2 Cancer) and over $6,100 was raised for Miner County through matching funds.
With this campaign, the students hope to not only raise funds, but to also inspire and empower community members and show them how much of a difference students can make by coming together. “As a student council advisor and high school principal, we were looking for a large scale project for our students to be a part of and learn real world skills in the process,” said Mike Warne, De Smet Middle School and High School Principal. “Our students jumped at the chance to get involved.”
De Smet student leaders, Codi Schmidt, Kristin Poppen, and Jessica Todd, are leading the coordination of all of the campaign activities, from reaching out to sponsors to devising their fundraising plan. Many of the students who have been directly affected by cancer have also stepped up to share their story with their school and community to create additional awareness.
“Through the process, our Student Council officers have learned valuable skills applicable to life outside the typical school day and have been able to showcase those skills within the community, while at the same time feel pride in being able to help out a worthy cause,” said Warne.
Beginning this week, community members will see students selling “Bulldogs Bark Back @ Cancer” t-shirts for $10.00 at all home sporting events. The shirts will also be available to purchase at Horizon’s De Smet Community Health Center and De Smet Dental Services, American Bank & Trust, and the De Smet School. These shirts are sponsored by a number of area businesses to ensure that all of the proceeds go directly towards this campaign.
The De Smet students would like to recognize and thank the following sponsors for their generous support to date: Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, De Smet Farm Mutual Insurance, Lyle Signs, The Main Stop, GF Advertising, and American Bank & Trust.
The Horizon Health Foundation was formed to pursue the mission of inspiring and empowering patients by providing funding for accessible and affordable health care now and into the future. For more information or to make a contribution to the “Bulldogs Bark Back @ Cancer” campaign and have it matched dollar for dollar, please visit http://www.horizonhealthfoundation.com or call 605.772.4553.
About Horizon Health Care, Inc.
For 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 105,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.