Horizon Health Foundation gave Shane Stofferahn not one, but two once-in-a-lifetime experiences when he had the winning ticket twice in a row for trips to places very unlike the small town he calls home.
Stofferahn works in IT at Lyle Signs in De Smet. He became acquainted with Horizon Health Care first as a dental patient. He happened to see a sign for a raffle the Foundation was sponsoring. He and his wife bought tickets “but of course we didn’t win,” Stofferahn said. The next year his wife felt down on her luck, so he bought two tickets anonymously and to his surprise won a trip to Charleston, South Carolina. He entered the subsequent year’s raffle and won again.
“My money’s been well spent at Horizon,” he said.
Stofferahn’s wife Jennifer teaches art to K-12 students in the De Smet school system. His daughter Carly and son Evan are in 7th and 5th grade respectively. He said typically the family prefers vacations with an outdoor focus so visiting a city like Charleston was a fun change of pace. The beautiful scenery impressed him when he saw old historic homes with moss-covered trees lining long driveways.
“That was really pretty neat,” he said. “Charleston was really nice; the people were really pleasant. We had a lot of fun – a lot more fun than I was expecting.”
The family next ventured to Bermuda where they jet-skied and got a first-hand look at how the islanders lived. Stofferahn said he didn’t realize Bermuda got its fresh water from the rain. One of the people living there opened up to them about what their lives were like, which made a positive impression on Stofferahn.
He grew up in Iroquois, South Dakota, a small town of 292 people, located about 18 miles from Huron and the nearest health care. Stofferahn remembers what it was like to be sick and not have a local clinic to go to.
“When you’re sick you don’t want to take a 20-,25-minute drive,” he said.
He bought those raffle tickets not only to take his family on a fun vacation but to support his hometown clinic and help ensure it’s future. Without a clinic in De Smet residents would have to drive to Huron or Brookings, possibly Howard for health care. Everybody needs health care at some point, he said. Living in a town with no health care made an impact on him growing up. Stofferahn doesn’t want his children or anyone else’s to have to go through that.
“You don’t realize how good it is (in-town health care) until you’ve been without it,” he said.