Neighbors help neighbors. That's just what you do.
At least that's the attitude of the four people who received this year's good neighbor award Saturday night at the Catalyst Club's annual banquet.
Wayne Davis, 58, was surprised by his nomination. For Davis, helping a neighbor is just what you do when you live in Wall.
"I just try to help anybody that needs my help, from some of these folks that can't get out to do their lawn work to someone that needs a ride to Rapid for a doctor's appointment," Davis said. "I've helped ranchers all over the area. ... Whatever they need doing I just pitch in and get it done."
Davis once needed help himself when he was building a home and had no money. Neighbors would help him out where they could, loaning a lawnmower, time or a dish of food.
"There are a lot of people in our community who have all helped me in one fashion or another," Davis said. "[In Wall], it didn't matter where you're from, what they're doing or what church they went to. You just helped. Everyone would circle the wagons and help each other. That's how I grew up."
Fellow nominees and childhood sweethearts Marcia and Michael West grew up helping out as well, and hope to carry on that tradition.
The two retired teachers, both in their mid-70s, grew up in Philip, left for college then returned to the rural town where they have taught at least two generations of students in the Philip school system.
The list of area nonprofits the couple help is considerable. They serve on the board of the Wall Food Pantry, helped get the Lasting Legacy Monument built, chair the Cancer Support Group and Relay for Life, and work with numerous church groups.
Marcia West doesn't like to talk about herself, instead emphasizing how thankful she is is that nonprofits like the Wall Food Pantry exist to help area residents.
"We feel like we have a very good community. One thing I'm impressed with is that a lot of our younger people are coming back and going into business here. To me that's a sign that we will be here, we're not going to go away," she said.
This year's fourth award winner, Bob Young, 60, was inspired by his experiences with his own neighbors.
A fire in 1979 burned his home to the ground. While no one was injured, he lost photos and most of his material goods. His neighbors helped him through the ordeal. They brought clothes and food, and helped with the clean-up.
"You don't know how many good friends and neighbors you have until you have a disaster," Young said.
The Union Center man has been involved in many community projects and never turns anyone down who needs help.
"Mom and Dad were real active in the neighborhood, and I guess that's where I got it from," Young said.
The Catalyst Club's 33rd annual banquet was held Saturday in Philip. The main purpose of the group is to recognize good neighbors in the towns of Rapid City, Wall, New Underwood, Caputa, Elm Springs, Hill City, Wasta, Union Center, Owanka and surrounding areas.
Art raises funds for school
Most area residents think they already know Kevin and Vicky Beshara, the owners of the popular Colonial House Restaurant and Bar in Rapid City. But the couple wanted to reintroduce themselves to the community at their newly purchased coffee shop.
So they hosted an art show called "Arts, Books & Coffee" to raise money for Wilson Elementary School.
The event featured more than 300 works of art created by students at the West Boulevard-area school.
Patrons bid on more than 100 pieces, raising over $1,300 for arts, books, reading program supplies and more.
"We really like to help the young kids because they can't go out and sell things like older kids do," Vicky Beshara said.
The entire building was covered with artwork, according to Beshara, who took home three pieces.
“The community has given us so much,” she said. “Giving back is a top priority to us.”
The Besharas have the CH endowment fund at Colonial House, but this was their first event at the coffee shop they purchased in December.
They donated an additional $1,100 from Dunn Bros for a total donation of $2,452.50.
Of note from readers
Darren Dubblede brought his tractor out and plowed out our driveways on Adonia Lane in Rapid City. Dubblede, who lives just down the street, plowed out at least a dozen homes. He's kind of always a nice guy.
— From Brad Derby
Two young men in their 20s came and helped me shovel my driveway. They didn't ask for anything in return and seemed surprised that I paid them for their thoughtfulness. When I asked them if they lived in the area, they said they did not, but wanted to help people who might need it. What great young men.
— From Lori El Aroussi
We had to be gone for a week for a funeral. Of course it snowed, and was one of the biggest storms of the year. Our wonderful neighbor Kathy Greig was watching our house for us; she scooped off our deck, cleaned off our car and made sure everything was as it should be when we got home. Then as an even more wonderful gesture, she brought us down some homemade chicken noodle soup and biscuits. She is blessing and a wonderful lady. Thank you!
— From Kim Zierke
My son died a little over two weeks ago and a bunch of his high school friends took turns bringing food every day for two weeks. It was just wonderful.
— From Kathie Noyes Brave