Each year LSS hosts a Founders Family & Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. During this luncheon we pay special thanks to and welcome the newest members of our Founders Family. The LSS Foundation Founders Family was established in 1994 to honor those who have committed to establishing a lasting legacy with either a significant gift to the LSS Foundation or by planning a gift to LSS beyond their lifetime. This year we are fortunate to have six new members of our legacy community, two of whom were in attendance at the luncheon; Rev. Dennis & Sandra Ellingsen. The Ellingsens received their commemorative Founders Family clock.
Our other newest Founders Family members have chosen to remain anonymous, and will be recognized personally in the coming weeks.
In addition to honoring all of the LSS Founders Family members, special recognition was given to our Distinguished Partners and Volunteers.
Our 2016 Distinguished Corporate Partner of the Year award went to the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. LSS has been a member of the Chamber of 1985. During those 30 years, the Chamber has twice supported LSS capital campaign requests and efforts. The first came in 2005, when the Changing Childrens Lives Campaign was approved, allowing LSS to build the Center for Children and Youth in Sioux Falls.
The second came in 2014 when the Chamber approved the LSS capital campaign request for the current Campus on East Bank Campaign. The Chamber has helped support LSS through a variety of means for this campaign, including press releases, kickoff events, and stories in their monthly publication and website. More importantly, more than 90 Chamber members have volunteered to make solicitations for our campaign.
Accepting the award of Distinguished Corporate Partner of the Year on behalf of the Chamber were Evan Nolte, President/CEO, Janet Brekke, owner of Honey Baked Ham who is Chair of the Chamber’s Community Appeals Committee, Paul Bruflat, Chair of the Board, Mark Lee, Public Affairs & Communications Director, and Mike Lynch, Public Affairs & Research Manager.
The Distinguished Volunteer of the Year award went to Stacy Trove, one of more than 1,200 individuals who volunteer their time and energy for LSS Mentoring Services. She has faithfully mentored Shay Knutson since 2005. Stacy has been a responsive mentor and participated in additional programming when she could. Through elementary and middle school, they were active in the Enhanced Mentor Program, and during Shay’s high school years, they participated in USucceed. Stacy also served on the LSS Mentor Advisory Committee.
More than anything, Stacy has been a loving friend to Shay. Their relationship won’t ever end, but the mentor/student titles ended when Shay graduated from Washington last June. Everyone at LSS Mentoring Services is proud of Shay for earning a coveted Build Dakota scholarship. Even though Shay is graduating this is not good bye to LSS.
The BEST part of Stacy and Shay’s story is that they hope to co-mentor an elementary aged student next year! Stacy says she can’t imagine mentoring without Shay being part of it.
The Distinguished Congregational Partner of the Year award went to Zion Lutheran Church in Aberdeen. Rev. Erin Heidelberger, Associate Pastor at Zion Lutheran, accepted the award on behalf of the congregation.
Zion Lutheran has been involved with LSS for many years in many ways. The congregation has provided the location for the LSS Northeast Benefit Dinners whenever it was needed. Pastor Marcia Sylvester, Zion’s Senior Pastor, served on the LSS Board of Directors from 2005-2014. Zion Lutheran has volunteered their church to be a Disaster Evacuation Site for New Beginnings Center should the need arise. Pastor Marcia has taken the lead in coordinating the New Americans Task Force in the Aberdeen area since March, and the church council at Zion Lutheran has supported this process.
Zion Lutheran has been willing to advocate about LSS services such as Counseling Services in the Aberdeen area, the Center for Financial Resources, Kinship Services, Disaster Response Services and the Center for New Americans, staying true to their Mission Statement: Rooted in Faith * Growing in Spirit * Reaching Out to Those in Need.
We are blessed by those who give up of their time, their energy and resources to ensure that the ministry of LSS is truly a ministry of presence. Please join us in honoring our newest Founders Family members and Distinguished Partners and Volunteers!
Linda Jensen, Church Relations and Planned Giving Development Officer
LSS Development & Foundation