(DE SMET, SD) – De Smet High School students are joining together this October to raise funds and awareness for their second annual “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 Horizon Health Care patients undergoing cancer treatment and to help with related expenses.
Beginning Monday, September 16th, 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, Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, 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.
Kibble Equipment, a farm equipment dealership with numerous locations across South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa, will be the matching campaign sponsor this year. For each donation received, Kibble Equipment will be matching the gifts during the month, up to a total of $2,500 – which means double the impact for Kingsbury County. In 2018, students raised $5,741.44, which included a matching gift of $3,000 from American Bank and Trust.
An exciting new twist to this year’s efforts is a kickoff to the cancer campaign between the De Smet Bulldogs and Howard Tigers during the first football game in October (October 4, 2019, in De Smet). Last year, Howard High School students held their second campaign, “Tigers Step Up 2 Cancer.” The student bodies between each school have challenged each other to who can raise more money to benefit their local county’s residents. Kibble Equipment will also be a matching gift sponsor for the Howard campaign, committed to matching up to $5,000 between the two schools’ campaigns. During the game, there will be a half-time mascot showdown between the Tigers and Bulldogs, as well as a presentation.
“We are extremely excited to partner with Horizon Health Foundation in their efforts to help rural citizens with the devastating effects of cancer,” said Tom Rook, Kibble Equipment Madison Store Manager. “It is uplifting to see the students of Howard and De Smet fighting a battle that hits close to home for many.”
All of the money raised from the Bulldogs’ 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. The money raised in 2018 was used to pay for: twenty $50 grocery gift certificates purchased and twenty $50 gas cards, all purchased locally.
De Smet student council leaders are leading the coordination of all of the campaign activities, from reaching out to sponsors to devising their fundraising plan. The students also solicited each of the sponsors to gain traction for this year’s event. “The community should support this program because the proceeds stay within our community and help those in times of need,” said Abbi Flood, a De Smet High School student organizer of the program. “I was not nervous asking for sponsorships, because businesses in our area like to give back and show support to each other.”
Two 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. 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.
“The BBB@C program is a great and helpful way to support local cancer patients in Kingsbury County,” said Grace Albrecht, another DHS student organizer. “The profits we make in the program go straight to helping the patients and giving him or her gas cards and grocery cards. Anything helps when a person is diagnosed with such an awful disease.”
The De Smet students would like to recognize and thank the following sponsors for their generous support to date: American Bank and Trust, Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, De Smet Farm Mutual Insurance, Lyle Signs, Main Stop, GF Advertising, and Kibble Equipment (matching gift sponsor).
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 over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and behavioral 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 110,000 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.