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Hannah Hunsinger, Journal staff 

Sturgis' Ryan Garland puts the ball up for a basket during Friday's home game against St. Thomas More.

Crumbling dino all that remains of old rail town

In the 1930s, when the country was in the grips of the Great Depression, a blacksmith in the town of Creston had a vision. 

Old Ike Murphy wanted to attract visitors to the Creston General Store. So, he cobbled together enough scrap metal, wood and concrete to build a 60-foot-long, 20-foot-tall dinosaur statue nearby. Murphy finished his masterpiece in 1933, well before the Mount Rushmore National Memorial was declared complete in 1941.

But unlike the four granite faces, which are now recognized around the world, fame never came for the "Creston Dinosaur." It is now one of the only recognizable landmarks in the former railroad town, along with a bridge that runs over Rapid Creek.

Located east of Rapid City off S.D. Highway 44, Creston was settled in 1880 by Jake Allison, who named the community for Creston, Iowa. Like many rural South Dakota towns of the day, Creston owed its existence to the railroad. It was a stop along the Milwaukee Railroad and served as a pump station for the engine.

Rodeos, sports games and dances broke up the drudgery of life on the prairie for the residents of Creston, which had a population of around 40 in the 1930s. Those numbers dwindled over the next few decades, as the U.S. shifted from being railroad country to an automobile country. 

Like the town itself, the Creston Dinosaur began to fade and fall apart. “I think, originally, the dinosaur might have been pink and red, not green like it is now," former Creston resident Herman Bloom told the Pennington County Courant in 1998. "And I think that maybe this is not the original head. The tail has fallen off, too, and there are a lot of holes in his tough old hide. He needs a real good rebuilding. Maybe a whole new body. It is a serious job for a good putty and knife man.”

A group of students from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology took up the challenge in 1998, helping restore the dinosaur to its former glory. During a dedication ceremony after the repairs were completed, Mines students and other locals gathered together, burned sage and offered a prayer.

“It is a high-quality, amateur statue and kind of custom made," said Marion Hansen, who was the American Society of Civil Engineers faculty adviser for Mines at the time. "It serves as a historical marker for the ghost town of Creston.”

Nearly 20 years after those restorations, the Creston Dinosaur is in need of another round of tender, loving care. The statue is riddled with cracks and chipped paint, and the tip of its tail has fallen off. 

There are signs of hope, however. Hansen said some current students at Mines have expressed interest in repairing the statue. 

“If we could help raise some money for the renovation," he said, "that might spur some more work on it.”

top story
Nonprofits share their wish lists for holidays

Editor's note: Around the holidays, many nonprofits lack the supplies and donations that allow them to service those in need. Each year, the Rapid City Journal publishes a wish list submitted by dozens of local charitable groups with the hope that readers can find the perfect nonprofit and donation to help those less fortunate. Contact information is included with each listing. This year's list was compiled with assistance from the Helpline Center.

Children's Home Society

About the organization: Children’s Home Society of SD is a private nonprofit whose mission is to protect, enrich and enhance the lives of children and families. Black Hills locations include Children’s Home Child Advocacy Center, Black Hills Children’s Home and Community Based Services.

Needs: Twin XL Fleece blankets; New water-resistant gloves and mittens (especially for age 8-18); New larger children’s coats and adult small and medium coats; New athletic shoes (especially big kids size 4, 5, 6 and 7); Discovery Kids Amazing Facts Books; Guinness Book of World Record Books; Building toys like Legos, Kleenex, Magna Tiles; Play Doh & Play Doh Sets; Adult Coloring Books; Colored Pencils; Markers; Crayons; Sketch Pads and “How to Draw” Books; G-rated DVDs; New Card Games and Board Games; Headphones; Children’s Books on CD; Drawing Toys such as Crayola Light Designer and Digital Drawing Pad; Magna Doodle; Books Body Drama by Nancy Redd & What’s Happening to My Body by Lynda Madaras (used books are fine).

Where to donate: 1330 Jolly Lane, Suite 2A, Rapid City

Contact: Katie or Theresa,, 343-2811

Painted Prayers Inc.

About the organization: Painted Prayers illuminates the arts and creativity as a powerful tool for emotional and spiritual growth.

Needs: Blank canvases of any size; acrylic paints; artist paint brushes; wax paper; markers; colored pencils; glue sticks; poster board; blank journals; aprons; drop cloths.

Where to donate: South Maple United Methodist Church, 202 E. Indiana St., Rapid City, or The OWN, 622 Main St., Rapid City

Contact: Brianna Heida, or 863-9278

Working Against Violence Inc.

About the organization: Working to create a community free of domestic abuse and sexual assault through advocacy, education and support services.

Needs: Gas Cards Phone Cards, Rapid Ride Bus Tickets, Cold Cereal and Non-Perishable Foods, Meats, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Gift Certificates to Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club, Adult sized winter coats.

Where to donate: WAVI, 527 Quincy St., Rapid City

Contact: Kristina Simmons, WAVI development director,

Youth & Family Services

About the organization: Youth & Family Services is a nonprofit organization that works to help close the opportunity gap for disadvantaged children and young people in and around the Black Hills community.

Needs: Monetary donations to fund year-round youth programming; children’s clothing (gently used or new); children’s winter apparel (gently used or new); children’s socks and underwear (new); children’s sweatpants and sweatshirts (gently used or new); children’s toys; diapers; books; puzzles; school supplies; craft supplies; gas cards; toilet paper; paper towels; paper plates and plastic utensils; household cleaning supplies; personal hygiene products; laundry detergent; organization tubs, drawer systems and containers.

Where to donate: 1920 N. Plaza Blvd.

Contact: Connie Olson,, 342-4195

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)

About the organization: The mission of MADD is to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking.

Needs: MADD would appreciate gift cards for office supplies and printing. Donations throughout the year to help us with our mission. Free advertising to help get the message out: Think before you drink and do not drink and drive. This holiday season give law enforcement and first responders a break. Tie a red ribbon on your car to remind everyone not to drink and drive. Ribbons available at MADD office, 426 St. Joseph St.. Most of all MADD wishes there would be no more victims of these violent crimes. Also we hope that all of the nonprofit's wishes come true. Merry Christmas!

Where to donate: 426 St. Joseph St., Rapid City

Contact: Connie S. Hobbs,, 343-5066 or

Lutheran Social Services

About the organization: New Alternatives provides housing to young adults living with mental illness. Arise offers alternatives to detention, and we help youth living with mental illness at Canyon Hills Center — Spearfish.

Needs: Hygiene items (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, razors, lotion, nail clippers, etc.); blankets and bedding; winter coats for teens; PG or PG-13 movies; kitchen supplies (pots, pans, bake-ware, kitchen utensils); books (teen best-sellers); arts and crafts; and board games.

Where to donate: 2920 Sheridan Lake Road, Rapid City

Contact: Jessica Lillebo,, 791-6769

Catholic Social Services

About the organization: Social Service Agency: Counseling, Adoption, Lakota Circles of Hope, Prosperity Initiative, Uplifting Parents, Disaster Support and other programs for those in need.

Needs: Movie passes, gift cards and swim passes for our Uplifting Parent and Prosperity Initiative Programs for clients. Baby layettes, diapers and formula for client's babies and younger children. Office supplies. Well maintained, lower mileage autos and vans.

Where to donate: 529 Kansas City St., Suite 100, Rapid City

Contact: Jim Kinyon, executive director,, 348-6086

Make-A-Wish South Dakota

About the organization: We grant the wishes of children facing life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

Needs: Wish enhancements (items need to be new): headphones; SD memory cards; Disney-themed toys; iTunes gift cards; travel games; LEGO sets; superhero themed toys; local gift cards; puzzles; new youth backpacks; batteries (AA/AAA); sports themed toys; journals; photo albums; DSLR camera to loan to wish families. Office needs: four collapsible easels.

Where to donate: 14 St. Joseph St., Suite 302, Rapid City

Contact: Melanie Barclay,, 791-4500

Black Hills Area Council, Boy Scouts of America

About the organization: We prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout oath and law.

Needs: Stump grinder attachment for a Bobcat, mini excavator, pine cone stain for buildings at camp, donation of $500,000 for new shower house at camp, sheets of drywall, new archery equipment, $50,000 for new shotgun range at camp, $10,000 to $15,000 donation for new camp shelters and picnic tables, office supplies (pens, pencils, paperclips, highlighters, etc.), two 12-gauge shotguns, two 20-gauge shotguns, shotgun shells for 20- and 12-gauge, clay pigeons for shotgun shooting, volunteers to serve as Merit Badge Counselors, skill trades volunteers, carpet or flooring donation for council office, paint (used or unused), gravel for roads, culverts for road improvements, toilet paper and paper towels, cleaning supplies, two electric washers, two electric dryers, hardware, shovels, rakes, hoses, new BB guns and BBs, miscellaneous lumber, $10,000 or Polaris Ranger for camp, white EZ-ups, $1,000 donations to council endowment, ten 8-inch folding tables, two new Heavy Duty trucks for camp.

Where to donate: 144 North St., Rapid City

Contact: Timothy P. Bouchard, Scout executive/CEO,, 342-2824

Black Hills Works

About the organization: Supports more than 600 people with a variety of disabilities.

Needs: Board games, lawn games, art supplies (beats, paints, etc.); exercise equipment, shoe racks, kitchen items (pots and pans, appliances in good condition, refrigerator, stove, stackable washer/dryer, small freezer); outdoor grill new or slightly used.

Where to donate: Will depend on item. Best to call first.

Contact: Dorothy Rosby,, 718-6205

Allied Arts Fund

About the organization: The Allied Arts Fund has served as a united funding agency for the arts in Rapid City and the Black Hills since 1971. Allied Arts Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Operating and promotional support for arts organizations, as well as funding for other nonprofit, grassroots community art projects. Together, our groups represent the most active and established arts organizations in the Black Hills, who with our grant recipients, provide over 1,200 culturally enriching events for our community each year.

Needs: We are extremely grateful for any monetary donations, every amount helps us fulfill our mission. Have a ticket to an event you are not able to use? Donate it to our Share-a-Seat program and we will make sure it goes to good use. Also, please send your Family Fare receipts for our Direct Your Dollars campaign.

Where to donate: 529 Kansas City St., Suites 215 & 219 Rapid City, SD 57701 (2nd Floor Offices Catholic Social Services Building) PO Box 4080 Rapid City, SD 57709

Contact: GiGi Lage,, 394-4106

Behavior Management Systems Full Circle

About the organization: Today, over 11,000 people from a 20,000-square-mile area rely on Behavior Management Systems to help them cope with the stresses of life. Comprehensive counseling services and treatment programs cover a number of troubling issues and disorders from addictive behavior and disabling anxiety to schizophrenia, stress, and suicide, and much of what falls in between. While the size of the organization and the scope of its behavioral health care services have changed and evolved significantly over the years, the company’s core vision remains the same: “Building positive change among ourselves and the communities where we live, work, and play.”

Needs: Full Circle is a residential program looking for children's size 1T to 8 in boys and girls clothing shirt, pants, socks, undies. Clothing is for children who come to Full Circle with their mothers; often the children often have only the clothes they are wearing.

Where to donate: 350 Elk St., Rapid City, SD 57701

Contact: Debbie Siemonsma, 343-7262, 

Behavior Management Systems Mainstream

About the organization: Today, over 11,000 people from a 20,000 square mile area rely on Behavior Management Systems to help them cope with the stresses of life. 

Needs: Looking for 15 gift cards to Walmart for the clients that do not have family members or that would otherwise not receive a gift on Christmas.

Where to donate: 111 North St., Rapid City, SD 57701

Contact: Debbie Siemonsma, 343-0650, 

Bella Pregnancy Resource Center

About the organization: At Bella, we believe that every woman is a woman of beauty and great worth. No matter what your circumstances are, we believe you are a woman of value who is capable of making your own decisions. Bella exists to be a resource for women and men with pregnancy-related needs. We are not here to tell you what to do but to supply you with the support, information and education you need to make decisions.

Description of needs: Baby items (new or like new baby clothing, new infant car seats, cribs & mattresses, diapers, wipes, etc.); two large screen flat screen TVs for client and staff education; monetary donations to update our Earn While You Learn educational material.

Where to donate: 119 E Grant Street, Suite 2, Spearfish, SD 57783 (Jan. 2 or after)

Contact: Roxie Jonhnson, 605-642-4140, 

Black Hills Raptor Center

About the organization: The mission of the Black Hills Raptor Center is to conserve and protect native birds of prey and their natural habitats through education, rehabilitation and research.

Description of needs: Monetary donations for our facility project; rolls of masking tape; fold over sandwich bags; $20 gift card for a volunteer to buy fuel so a bird can get transported to Pierre for rehabilitation; ream of copy paper; postage stamps; large synthetic cutting board; sturdy plastic dishpans

Where to donate: Box 9713 Rapid City, SD 57709

Contact: John or Maggie, 381-9707 or 391-2511, 

Club for Boys

About the organization: The Club for Boys is dedicated to providing positive experiences that develop self-esteem and character in a caring, safe, and fun environment for all boys.

Description of needs: Sponsors are wanted for member families with limited income for Christmas by providing gifts or holiday decorations. Sponsors can either do the shopping themselves after getting a wish list, or give funds and the staff can do the shopping for you.

Where to donate: 320 N. 4th St. Rapid City, SD 57701

Contact:, 343-3500

C.O.R.E - Community Organized Resources in Educating Youth (Freshman Impact)

About the organization: Working to save teen lives through interactive preventative education. Freshman Impact: Caught in the Moment is a powerful one-day prevention program for young teenage students. The students see up close and learn through hands-on activities the possible consequences of wrong choices and the lasting effects physically and emotionally on their bodies, their families and friends, and their community. The program promotes communication and developing rapport between the youth and law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel. The program brings together local, county, state and federal resources to educate students, parents and school staff on destructive teenage issues and the consequences. Law enforcement/fire/rescue departments can use the program as inter-departmental training for their personnel in emergency response skills, working as a team with other area departments, and promoting community relations. As a team, everyone works together to promote young teenagers making safe choices and preventing destructive behaviors. It is important to give our young teenagers the tools to develop lifelong skills and values to make the best choices.

Needs: Monetary Donations; Conference table for minimum of 10; Cubicle Office Walls Minimum of 6 feet tall; Conference table chairs; Office desk and chairs; Metal lateral four or five draw filing cabinets. Office furniture: We can arrange for pick up as well.

Where to donate: 22732 Rando Court Box Elder SD, 57719

Contact: Jackie or Rick McPherson, 605-431-4672,

Cornerstone Rescue Mission

Needs: Cornerstone will be collecting $10 Walmart gift cards to be used for the women and children of Cornerstone. There is usually a shortage of gifts for older children. Any extra cards will be used to help the ladies buy necessities they otherwise could not afford. Large/sturdy backpacks, bus passes, laundry & dish soap, gas cards, money donations. Kitchen items of eggs, milk, fruits and vegetables, coffee, cereal; Kitchen items can be brought to 30 Main St. Other items can be brought to Admin Offices at 401 11th St.

Where to donate: 401 11th Street Rapid City, SD 57701 or 30 Main Street Rapid City, SD 57701

Contact: Deb Berg, 718-8712,

Crisis Intervention Shelter Service, Inc.

About the organization: Crisis Intervention Shelter Service, also known as CISS, is a nonprofit Domestic Violence Shelter in Sturgis, SD. We provide housing, food, transportation, and cover the needs of men, women, and children who are fleeing from DV.

Needs: CISS is currently in need of monetary donations to replace the carpet within the shelter as well as the light fixtures. Other items that we go through frequently are shampoo, conditioners (adults and kids), cleaning supplies (laundry and basic cleaning) and other basic toiletries. Some extra items would be dressers, pillows, full and twin size bedding. Help make a Christmas Food Box for families in need. Each food box contains enough food to provide the family a special Christmas meal along with holiday treats. Pick up a box at CISS, or fill your own.

Where to donate: PO Box 842 Sturgis, SD 57785-0842

Contact: Erin Burke, 605-347-0050,


Fork Real Community Café

About the organization: Fork Real is a member of One World Everyone Eats Foundation, a network of more than 60 community cafes. Our mission is to build community by providing nutritious and delicious meals to the people of Rapid City regardless of their ability to pay.

Needs: Monetary donations; Frequent flyer miles would assist in traveling to Annual Café Operators Training and Education; Commercial 2 door Reach-in Refrigerator for food storage; Commercial Upright Freezer; Industrial Immersion Blender (available at Rapid City Commercial Kitchen Store); Pre-paid storage unit for 12 months; Commercial grade electric hand Mixer; New dinnerware/place settings; New business laptop or desktop; Large flat screen computer monitor; Color Printer.

Where to donate: 201 Main St., Rapid City, SD 57701

Contact: Dave or Rhonda Pearcy Phone Number: 299-1348,

Helpline Center

About the organization: At the Helpline Center, we believe everyone deserves help when they need simple answers, community connections or hope during difficult times. The mission of the Helpline Center is making lives better by giving support, offering hope and creating connections all day, every day. We fulfill our mission through the following core service areas: 211 Helpline

Description of needs: Monetary donations.

Where to donate: 529 Kansas City St., Suite 201 Rapid City, SD 57701

Contact: Heidi Bell-Gease or Audrey Nordine, 332-1333 or 274-1429, or

Hill City Senior Center

About the organization: The Hill City Senior Center is a local organization dedicated to the service of our older adults in the communities of the Black Hills. The Center will provide opportunities for these individuals to meet and pursue mutual interests that will enhance their independence and encourage involvement in the community. We strive to provide activities and events to fulfill the needs in our area.

Description of needs: Gifts should be new items that you would like to give or receive yourself (i.e. clothing, gloves, hats, toys, household items, books, or personal items (please, no perfume, makeup or scented toiletries). Please no heavy or breakable items because of mailing issues. Handmade items are welcomed. Gift cards to national chains are acceptable. Donations of wrapping paper, tape, etc. are also welcomed.

Where to donate: 227 Walnut Avenue Hill City, SD 57745

Contact: Pat Forrer Phone Number: 605-939-8354,

Historic Homestake Opera House

About the organization: A historic nonprofit performing arts venue built by the Homestake Gold Mine in 1914 has approximately 100 volunteers and 50 events all year-round including music, theater, movies, presentations, and tours while completing restoration of the theater as special project funding allows.

Needs: New digital projector for presentations; Folgers regular coffee; Dry coffee creamer; White insulated paper cups; Plain granulated sugar; Commercial size bag new popcorn kernels; office paper - 8.5x11, 11x17, 12x18; Baby Changing Stations - two at least for main bathroom and second floor; Latex-free Gloves for painting/cleaning; Food Service Gloves; Spray Furniture Polish; Broom/Dustpan; Windex Glass Cleaner; Gallons of Vinegar; Multi-Surface Mr. Clean Cleaner; Clorox or Lysol Wipes; Folded Paper Towels for Dispenser/Baskets; Brawny/Viva/Bounty Roll Paper Towels for Cleaning; Toilet Paper; Air Freshener; Single Pump Hand Soaps and Gallon Refill; 5-gallon Buckets; Rags; Flashlights; Batteries - C and AA; Light Bulbs; Screwdriver flat/Phillips; 5 First Aid Kits – stocked; 3 Shark vacuums (1 for each floor); Lumber for restoration projects and stage design

Where to donate: 308 Julius St., Lead, SD 57754

Contact: Sarah Carlson, 584-2067,

HOPE Center

About the organization: The HOPE Center was established in 2010 as an outreach project of First United Methodist Church in downtown Rapid City. Initial planning for the project was driven by an expressed need of those living in poverty and/or without homes, neighborhood churches and businesses, and other nonprofit agencies to have a day center in Rapid City that would be able to provide basic day services in the downtown area.

Description of needs: The HOPE Center is collecting: thick, neutral colored scarves, mittens, hats, gloves, socks, snow pants, snow boots, winter coats and insulated clothing of all adult sizes. Also, gently used, or new blankets and sleeping bags to give out throughout the cold season. Donations welcome all yearlong, especially during the cold months.

Where to donate: 615 Kansas City St., Rapid City, SD 57701

Contact: 716-4673,

Kids Against Hunger

About the organization: We work with local groups to package highly nutritious food that is sent to starving people around the world and hungry people around the corner.

Needs: Monetary donations to enable us to pack more food; Groups, businesses and individuals who would like to pack meals in an assembly line; Vacuum cleaner; Large jugs of hand sanitizer; Food-grade gloves.

Where to donate: 700 44th St. Rapid City, SD 57702

Contact: Deanna Darr, 484-8305,

Love INC of the Black Hills

About the organization: Love INC of the Black Hills helps churches help people in need. Love INC started in 2001 and now works with over 60 Black Hills area churches. Love INC coordinates church resources and volunteers through various programs designed to help those in need in our community.

Description of needs: Love INC is collecting new and/or gently used blankets of all sizes; Woodworking tools; Furniture; Adventure Gear (Skis & ski boots, snowboards and boots, sporting equipment, camping gear, exercise or sports clothing); Nonperishable food items (cereal, spaghetti sauce and noodles, hamburger helper, canned tuna or chicken, soups, canned vegetables or fruit); Copy paper; 1-inch three ring notebooks, stamps.

Where to donate: 140 North Street Rapid City, SD 57701

Contact: Kathy, 718-5683, 

Love INC of the Black Hills, Life INC.

About the organization: Love INC of the Black Hills helps churches help people in need.

Description of needs: During the holidays, Life INC students struggle to have adequate food, especially when family and friends are often visiting. Food Donations for the pantry are needed, especially canned meat, fruits, breakfast items, instant mashed potatoes, oatmeal and gravy.

Where to donate: 140 North Street Rapid City, SD 57701

Mailing Address: PO Box 3255 Rapid City, SD 57709

Contact: Roy Roberts Phone Number: 718-5683, 

Mercy Housing

About the organization: Mercy Housing is a nonprofit that provides affordable housing to low-income families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. People who find a home with Mercy Housing have often struggled with some of life’s toughest challenges. High housing costs, job loss, illness, substance abuse, trauma, and isolation are a few barriers residents face as they work to create a stable life. We recognize that people often need more than a home to build a stable life, which is why, in addition to housing, we provide resident services, which offers programs in the area of community, health and wellness, finance, and out of school time.

Description of needs: Monetary donations, craft supplies of all kind, adult and children books, puzzles/games, winter clothing such as hats, gloves, mittens, scarfs, blankets, coloring books, markers/crayons, new socks.

Where to donate: 914 Explorer Street Rapid City, SD 57701

Contact: Shannon Maher, 209-5732,

Minneluzahan Senior Citizens Center

About the organization: Minneluzahan Senior Citizens Center is a nonprofit organization whose mission is: “To encourage seniors to remain active and involved in a social and recreational setting by providing programs and activities.”

Needs: Most of our “wants” are items that we need for use in our fundraising activities: (2-3) Large crock pots; (2) Large canopies; (5) Large white round tables (60 inches in diameter); (4) 8 foot long white plastic tables; 50-100 stackable chairs; Card tables and chairs; (1) 80 to 100 cup coffee maker; 18 quart electric roaster; New Sound System; Paper shredder; bookcase; or donations to cover costs to replace the needed items.

Where to donate: 315 North 4th St. (next to Club for Boys)

Contact: Rita Wagner,

Northern Hills Area CASA Program

About the organization: Northern Hills Area CASA Program seeks to promote and protect the best interest of abused and neglected children through the advocacy efforts of trained volunteers. We conduct monthly training sessions for CASA volunteers and community members to learn about services available for children and families.

Needs: Monetary donations; Lightweight Projector for training presentations.

Where to donate: 741 N. Fifth St., Spearfish, SD 57783

Contact: Renae Servaty, 605-722-4558, 

Northern Hills Eye Foundation

About the organization: Northern Plains Eye Foundation (NPEF), a Rapid City-based nonprofit organization, improves the quality of life in the Black Hills region through outreach programs to preserve and protect vision and restore sight.

Needs: Monetary donations; Apple iPad mini 4 (128GB Wi-Fi); Office Depot gift cards; rolls/sleeves of stamps.

Where to donate: 402 Saint Joseph Street, Suite 1, Rapid City, SD 57701

Contact: Ronda Gusinsky, 716-6733

Oglala Pet Project

About the organization: OPP was founded to help community members care for their animals and improve the quality of life for pets through education, spay/neuter support, pet health resources, and the re-homing or networking of abandoned, abused or unwanted pets on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Needs: Dog food, cat food, clumping cat litter, cash donations for vet bills, stamps, kennels, toys, collars, blankets, litter boxes, Ziplock bags, Clorox wipes, laundry detergent, paper towels.

Where to donate: Victorias Garden or Someone’s in the Kitchen

Contact: Andrea Goodman, 

Rapid City Arts Council Program

About the organization: The Dahl Arts Center has served as a premier western South Dakota arts center for contemporary visual arts, arts education and performing arts since it opened in October 1974. It is a public facility, gifted to Rapid City by Mr. & Mrs. A.E. Dahl, owned by the City of Rapid City and is managed by the Rapid City Arts Council. The Dahl houses a flexible use event center, five visual arts galleries, an interactive children's gallery, the Cyclorama Mural of American History, gift shop, classrooms for artists of all ages and abilities and Emerging Artist performing space. This multipurpose community arts center is used by artists and arts organizations for arts, private and corporate gatherings. The "new Dahl" opened in January 2009, almost tripling it's size, after a $7.8 million dollar renovation. $3.25 million dollars of the project was funded by the City's Vision 2012 program, with the remainder raised by the RCAC through generous community and foundation support. Last year at the Dahl, the Rapid City Arts Council hosted 972 events for arts and community groups, as well as commercial rentals which help offset operations costs.

Needs: Emerging Artists Program- XLR Cables; Music Stands; Microphones; Children’s Gallery; Children’s Play Instruments; Legos; Drawing Paper, Colored Pencils, Crayons Children’s Books; Art Education- Class Supplies (paper, makers, colored pencils, etc); Pottery Wheel exhibits- Installation Supplies (nails, photo hangers, gaffers tape, Velcro, etc); Makita Drill; Paint & Patching Supplies.

Where to donate: 713 7th St, Rapid City, SD 57701

Contact: Pepper Massey,

Rapid City Regional Homeless Coalition

About the organization: The Rapid City Regional Homeless Coalition is a collection of nonprofit organizations and social service agencies that are working together to address homelessness in our community. Each January the RCRHC participates in a nationwide Point in Time Count to gain a better understanding of what homelessness looks like in our community. While conducting outreach to complete the Point in Time Count, we take an opportunity to provide those who identify as homeless with small cold weather items, a warm meal, a sack lunch, and some toiletries.

Needs: Small cold weather items such as pocket warmers, scarves, hats, gloves, socks, etc; toiletries; non-perishable food items.

Where to donate: (BHCF) 803 St. Joseph St., Rapid City, SD 57701

Contact: Jamie Kirsch, 718-0112, 

Rural America Initiatives (Head Start & Early Head Start, Ateyapi Program-MS, H, and prenatal-5 years, and Capitail Campaign)

About the organization: Our mission is to partner with the whole family to help American Indian children and youth acquire tools to thrive in the contemporary environment and to support Native cultural values. Our goal is to develop a new society of Indian men and women, "Ikce wicasa na winyan" (Common Man and Woman) who work within the community to strengthen families by practicing the values of respect, honesty, language, generosity and courage. We work with some of the most challenged and at-risk families in Rapid City. Our focus is to provide life skills to break the crippling cycle of poverty.

Needs: Our Head Start and Early Head Start programs (ages pre-natal – 5) need: Hats, Gloves, Socks, Snow boots, Laundry soap, Cleaning supplies, Diapers; Ateyapi Program (middle and high school) needs: Winter coats, Hygiene Products; Capital campaign needs: Cash donations and pledges.

Where to donate: 628 ½ 6th St. Suite 201, at the corner of Kansas City Street.

Contact: Deborah Gangloff, 341-3339, 

Salvation Army Rapid City

About the organization: The Salvation Army is a Christian, nonprofit organization dedicated to serving people in need without discrimination. The Salvation Army currently serves humanity in 127 countries, has been serving Western South Dakota since 1907; and is a founding member agency of the United Way.

Needs: Monetary donations to assist people in the upcoming year; coats can be brought to the Salvation Army Thrift Store or Social Services Office on Cherry Avenue. Through the Salvation Army Coats for Kids Drive, donations are matched with needy children in the Rapid City area.

Where to donate: 405 N. Cherry Avenue Rapid City, SD 57701

Contact: Nathan Johnson, 342-0982

South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary

About the organization: In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.

Needs: Gift cards; Consider filling a Buddy Basket or Buddy Bag to be given to veterans, military members, and their families who may be homeless or in need and donating to the local American Legion. Buddy Basket: Fill a laundry basket/waste basket with paper towels, laundry detergent, household cleaners, rubber gloves, cleaning sponges, dust pan w/hand brush, light bulbs, flashlight, batteries, alarm clock, shower curtain w/rings, bath towel set, bathroom tissue, dishes, eating utensils, dish soap; dish towel set. Wrap with clear wrap, bow, and greeting tag. Buddy Bag: Assemble a bag filled with personal hygiene products, hand towel set, shower shoes or slippers, socks, hat gloves, scarf set; shopping or salon gift card. Add a sealed note or card of appreciation.

Where to donate: 129 N. Main Avenue Attn: Vets Relief Drive Hartford, SD 57033

Contact:, 605-890-3093

Victims of Violence Intervention Program, Inc.

About the organization: VVIP provides the following services to those affected by domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual assault. Advocates work one-on one with clients providing moral support, assistance with finding affordable housing and suitable employment, public assistance, transportation and accompaniment when seeking medical attention, legal or court services, public education and community outreach. We provide accommodations for up to 42 people, food and supplies. Continued support services to those who have moved out of the catchment area and are no longer in need of direct services but require follow up services. Advocates provide time with each child to concentrate on the development of self esteem, creative conflict resolution techniques, and validation of feelings. We network with law enforcement, social services, child protection, mental health agencies, community action programs, states’ attorneys and other programs. We provide educational opportunities for volunteers, staff and clients to attend trainings, workshops and conferences.

Needs: The Artemis House collects gift cards for parents to choose gifts for their children, and so children can choose a gift for their parents. Gift cards to Walmart, Safeway, Walgreens and gas cards are most needed.

Where to donate: PO Box 486 Spearfish, SD 57783

Contact: 605-642-7825

Volunteers of America, Mommy's Closet

About the organization: Volunteers of America helps those in need across our community. Our mission is stated simply: “To compassionately serve and strengthen individuals by empowering them to build healthy and happy lives.” Achieving that goal is not simple and requires diligence and hard work. We are in the front lines, offering the following essential services: Mommy’s Closet Crisis Center, HIV Prevention Services, Ryan White Program, and Veteran Outreach Program.

Needs: Mommy's Closet will be collecting the following this winter: diapers for children, all sizes accepted, sizes 4 & 5 in high need; clothing for adults and children including coats, hats, mittens/gloves and boots; Bus passes and phone cards for Veterans; Hygiene Products including deodorant; individually wrapper snacks; monetary donations

Where to donate: 111 New York Street Rapid City, SD 57701

Contact: Kelly Folsom, 341-8336

Storybook Island

Description of needs: Money to help build our Carousel house to protect our antique Carousel/ Storybook Island has already raised nearly $200,000, we need an additional $300,000.

Where to donate: PO Box 9196, Rapid City, SD 57709

Contact: Connie LeZotte, 342-6357


About the organization: Passages is a faith-based residential reentry program for women released from prison or homeless. We currently have 5 women in the program with 2 more coming the first part of the year.

Needs: Gift cards or cash to finance a holiday dinner at one of our local restaurants for the women and our house manager; Gift cards or cash for gas for our van to deliver women tojob interviews, parole appointments, AA & NA meetings, etc.; Gift cards or cash for the house manager to use for grocery purchases; A quarter of beef for our freezer; Cash to pay the rent and utilities; A whole hog for our freezer; Bus passes to help women get to their jobs.

Where to donate: 529 Kansas City Street Rapid City, SD 57701

Contact: Marge Beam, 939-0744,

Prairie Hills Child Care Center

About the organization: Prairie Hills Child Care Center is a licensed program committed to providing affordable and enriching child care services to families in the community.

Description: Toys for all ages; Baby swing; Rock and play; New chairs to rock the babies; Single child stroller; Tempera paint-all colors; Boppy Pillows; Board games for age 5 & up

Where to donate: 2015 Tumble Weed Trail Spearfish, SD 57783

Contact: Barb Cline, 605-342-1284

Yellow Bike Program and Reconditioned Bikes for Kids, Inc.

About the organization: We are a nonprofit organization that donates bikes, trikes, scooters, wagons, and exercise equipment to people less fortunate and cannot afford to get them new.

Needs: Onsite Storage shed; regular and Metric Wrenches; Upright Air Compressor; Printer Ink, Epson Black 200 XL and Epson Color 200 or 200XL Copy Paper Monetary Donations. We will start to accept Bikes again in March.

Where to donate: 22860 Sky Street Rapid City, SD 57703

Contact: Dale R. Bishop, 923-5991

First public high school on Pine Ridge could open as soon as 2019

A plan to build the first public high school on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is gaining support, and officials said Friday the facility could open as soon as 2019. 

Mitch Stone, executive director of the Red Stone Group, said his firm has been hired by the Oglala Lakota County School District to complete a feasibility study for a new career and technical high school.

“It’s a really exciting project,” he said.

OLCSD superintendent Anthony Fairbanks said the school board has talked about the school for more than a decade, but it never came to fruition. “There is such a strong need, and we’re working to get this started as soon as possible, hopefully this summer,” Fairbanks said.

Stone has been involved in education on the reservation since 1994 and said there are good schools on the reservation, but none are focused on career and technical education.

“There are really no schools on Pine Ridge that are creating job-ready kids in career and technical education,” he said.

The timing is right, Stone said, mainly because Gov. Dennis Daugaard supports the idea and there is a push across the state for career and technical education.

“If the students were career and technical education-ready, they can come out with a marketable skill that is good for their family and it can be an economic driver for Pine Ridge,” Stone said.

Students who graduated from the high school would receive a diploma and a certificate in their field of study. Feedback from students has indicated they are interested in the fields of IT specialist, nursing and paramedic work.

“These lead to high-paying jobs,” Stone said, many of which could be on the reservation.

Stone said he has talked with several agencies and businesses on the reservation that struggle to fill technical jobs.

According to statistics from Red Cloud Indian School, 80 percent of residents on the reservation are unemployed and 49 percent live below the federal poverty line.

“This would be a massive benefit to the state, and not just the reservation,” Stone said.

Officials are mum about possible locations for the school, but Stone said it will be accessible to everyone. “We don’t want to cut anyone out because of transportation issues."

The feasibility study will look at a number of things, including the demographics of the reservation, enrollment trends on Pine Ridge and across the nation, possible revenue sources, and internship and job placement possibilities for graduates.

“A big part of this is, ‘How can we leverage partnerships on both the state and federal level?'” Stone said.

To pay for the project, Fairbanks said the school board will take a look at its budget, kick off a capital campaign and review multiple funding options, including state, federal and private sources.

“It’s a work in progress, and we’ll take a diversified approach,” he added.

Redstone hosted an information booth at the LNI tournament earlier this month and gathered more than 500 surveys from Pine Ridge residents to gauge the level of support for the project.

“More than 90 percent said yes, they want a career and technical high school on Pine Ridge,” Stone said.

The school could have long-lasting effects on individuals and families on the reservation, he added.

“We see this as a pretty pivotal shift in the educational structure,” he said. “We’re looking to create a world-class job force.”