Smiles for Miles

Howard High School Students to Kick Off ‘Tigers Step Up 2 Cancer’ in October

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(HOWARD, SD) – Howard High School students are joining together this October to raise funds and awareness for their third annual “Tigers Step Up 2 Cancer” campaign. Throughout the entire month, students will be leading fundraising efforts with the Horizon Health Foundation to benefit Miner County patients of Horizon Health Care undergoing cancer treatment and to help with related expenses.

Beginning on Monday, September 16th through the end of October, “Tigers Step Up 2 Cancer” t-shirts will once again be available for $10.00 at all home sporting events. The shirts will feature a new design and are grey this year. The shirts will also be available for purchase at the Horizon Health Foundation (former coffee shop), Howard High School, and Whispering Winds. The 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 Miner County. In 2018, students exceeded their goal and raised $4,623, which was matched up to $2,500.00 by Rivers Edge Bank, Member FDIC, for a total of $7,123 donated to the Horizon Health Foundation’s Miner County Cancer Care fund. Over the past two years, a total of $13,266 has been raised through this campaign.

An exciting new twist to this year’s efforts is a kickoff to the cancer campaign between the Howard Tigers and De Smet Bulldogs during the first game in October (October 4, 2019, in De Smet). Last year, De Smet High School students held their first campaign, “Bulldogs Bark Back @ 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 De Smet 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 Tigers’ campaign will again be directed to the Horizon Health Foundation. Horizon Health Care cares for patients in Miner County 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: one individual colonoscopy, twenty $100 grocery store gift certificates, and twenty $50 gas cards, all purchased locally.

Howard student leaders are once again 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 TSU2C because it allows each and every person in the community to grow closer together,” said Geralyn Wipf, Howard High School Senior and Student Council President. “Just by participating in one thing that involves TSU2C, they are helping someone in need. Seeing the support that our community brings by helping makes all of us involved with TSU2C proud of the work that everyone has accomplished.”

“I was incredibly nervous in this new arena (of fundraising), but my excitement outmatched my jitters,” said Ben Connor, Howard High School Senior. “I believe that the community should support the program, and I believe the reason is best quoted in the FFA creed. It states ‘for less need for charity, but more of it when needed’, which means that the best way to combat the rise of both financial and health problems that come to play in life we must work diligently to have opportunities for those in need before the need arises.”

The Howard students would like to recognize and thank the following sponsors for their generous support to date: American Bank and Trust, Corner Pantry, Good Samaritan Society, Howard Physical Therapy, Rivers Edge Bank, Rusty’s Food Store, Schwader Farms, Whispering Winds, GF Advertising, FoxPrint Printing and Graphics, an anonymous donor, and Kibble Equipment (matching gift).

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 “Tigers Step Up 2 Cancer” campaign and have it matched dollar for dollar, please visit 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