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The Boys and Girls Club of the Black Hills hosted their annual Mount Rushmore fundraiser Saturday evening. It celebrated 15 years of the Boys and Girls Club of the Black Hills. 

Upon publication, the charity fundraiser produced over $40,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of the Black Hills. 

The event took place at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Attendees ate dinner as the sun set behind the sculpture of presidents. Organizers noted that the event grew significantly  from its beginning, a spaghetti dinner in the Hill City Gym. 

Richard Walker, Resource Development Director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Black Hills, started kicked off the evenings festivities. He spoke to the crowd as a parent with children involved in the Hot Springs club. He said, "I'm never ceased to be amazed by the passion of the people involved with Boys and Girls Club." 

Shad Olson was the events emcee, keeping the crowd in good spirits with humor, good will and a passion for the club and community. 

The keynote speaker of the evening was South Dakota State Senator Neal Tapio. He spoke to the importance of service and addressed some of the many issues facing children growing up in America today. In his speech, he referenced the mission statement of the Boys and Girls Club, " to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens." He spoke to the importance of carrying out that mission by saying, "we are given purpose in life by serving other people." 

As dinner came to a close, the fundraising began. A goodwill, silent auction allowed people to bid on dozens of items. Auctioneer, Jeff Storm, kept the banquet hall pumped to bid more. Most items were donations from local businesses or artists, though some were more exotic, like an African safari. 

Hot Springs artist Mark Horton's Bison sculpture had the evening's highest bid with $6,000. 

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To break up the auction, raffle drawings were held for more fund raising. 

The Boys and Girls Club of the Black Hills is composed of three chapters, Hot Springs, Hill City and Lead-Deadwood.

The Hot Springs chapter offers a safe, fun and constructive environment for children. During the school year, they have after school, early release and Friday programming. They also offer a summer camp program for the months of June, July and August. 

Children from kindergarten to the age of 18 can join. For more information, click the Hot Springs tab on the Boys and Girls Club of the Black Hills website, call the club at 605-745-8000 or visit the office at 1537 Baltimore Avenue in Hot Springs. 

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