HOT SPRINGS – The Hot Springs Bison football and volleyball teams were recently presented more than $1,500 each to purchase new equipment and uniforms, thanks in a large part to how one member of the football team helped to inspire the donor while he was raising funds for his sport in another capacity.
For several years – beginning back in 2012 when the first Dakota Mud Run was held in Hot Springs, followed by other community events like the Color Run and the Fall Festival – funds were being raised by local business owner Kim Moir to hopefully, one day, build a Splash Park within the city.
Moir and then-City Administrator Harley Lux had been working on the project together, but after Lux died suddenly of a heart attack a few years ago, momentum for the project slowed and eventually stopped, according to Moir.
When it became apparent the Splash Park was not going to become a reality, Moir wanted to find another use for the more than $3,000 which had been raised for the project, and kept in a special account by the City of Hot Springs.
“Since that project wasn’t moving forward, I was looking for another way to use the funds, in a way that would help to encourage youth fitness like the Splash Park,” Moir said. “Then I saw this kid at Sonny’s one day trying to raise funds for the football team. He was so passionate about what he was doing. I was really taken by his actions and passion.”
That “kid” was Hot Springs junior Garrett Heil, the son of Jeff and Jen Heil, and according to Moir, he was the inspiration for why she decided to take the Splash Funds she had raised and turn the money over to the high school’s football and volleyball programs.
“His parents should be doggone proud,” Moir said.
Thanks to Heil’s actions, both sports programs were given $1,550.68 each. Moir said the football team was planning to use the funds to refurbish their helmets, while the volleyball team was going to purchase new jerseys.