THANKS for Doing Good on the Green

August 16, 2017

The 7th annual LSS Golf Tournament at Cattail Crossing Golf Course in Watertown was another success! All funds raised go toward client services in the Watertown area – strengthening individuals and families. Services include adoption services, mental health counseling, and financial counseling and education.

We would like to say a special thank you to Reliabank, our presenting sponsor, along with the following sponsors:

Dale McElhany welcomed 84 registered golfers before teeing off at the 7th Annual LSS Golf Tournament in Watertown.

Dennis & Shirley Larson
Falcon Tour River Adventures
First Premier Bank
Sharp Automotive
Diamond Realty
Larry’s Lumber
First Bank & Trust
Aason Engineering
KWAT Radio
KXLG Radio
Macksteel Warehouse
Citi-Wide Property Management

We would like to send a special thank you to Levi Pearson and everyone at Cattail Crossing Golf Course for always helping us put on an amazing golf tournament!

We want to recognize Dale McElhany for his vision and efforts in helping to put this golf tournament together each year!

Betty Oldenkamp, LSS President/CEO and Mary Johnson, LSS Counseling Services in Watertown, pay tribute to Ronald Flemming, who dedicated 25 years to LSS prior to passing away almost a year ago.

This year, we had the privilege to pay tribute to Ron Flemming, who was a LSS clinical therapist for 25 years. Ron passed away less than a year ago and he touched many lives during the time he was with LSS. A print was dedicated to the Watertown LSS Counseling office in Ron’s honor for his dedicated service, devotion and commitment to LSS.

Following 18-holes of golf, golfers enjoyed a steak dinner and learned more about the many LSS services in the Northeast.

We would like to acknowledge all of the participating golfers and volunteers from the LSS Golf Tournament! We truly have such a smooth process with these events because of our wonderful volunteers!

Have we said THANK YOU yet?
We truly appreciate all of you.


Liesl Hovel, Development Director, Northeast Region
LSS Development & Foundation
605-262-6301 direct,

Conference to Discuss Minority Youth

September 30, 2016

Please join us on Thursday, October 27th for the FREE annual DMC Conference.  The conference will be held at the Orthopedic Institute from 7:30am-12:30pm.  The one-day DMC Conference will draw together parents, students, counselors, law enforcement, school staff, juvenile justice professionals, judges, State’s Attorney staff, and human services professionals to learn from national and local speakers.  The conference goals are to increase awareness of racial disparities in the juvenile justice system, explore existing and dreamed-of resources for youth and families of color and those who work with them, and improve how families and the community can work together to reduce the number of minority youth in the juvenile justice system.

If you are a black, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American youth in Sioux Falls, you are more likely to be arrested than your white classmates are.  If you are black, you are five times more likely to be arrested.  If you are Native American, you are ten times more likely to be arrested.  Even with the array of post-arrest diversion programs now available in Sioux Falls, a disproportionate number of minority youth still end up in juvenile detention, where they are separated from their school, family, and the workforce.  The Disproportionate Minority Contact Work Group focuses on helping our community and families work together to help minority youth avoid juvenile offenses and involvement with the juvenile justice system.

An abundance of national research shows that punishment and incarceration, rather than restorative justice and rehabilitation, is harmful to youth and is associated with increased rates of re-offending, lower educational and vocational success, and incarceration later in life.  The national Youth Justice Work Group recommends 10 points for youth justice reform.  Our conference will address several of these points, including eliminating racial and ethnic disparities; engaging youth, families and community; improving cross-system collaboration; and creating a range of effective community-based supports.  When we can all work together effectively, the long-term benefits to Sioux Falls will be significant.  A 2009 Vanderbilt University study found that diverting just one youth from a life of crime, incarceration and unemployment would save society from $2 to $5 million over that youth’s lifetime.

Please come join us for an opportunity to learn more about DMC work and how you can best work with youth in our community to help them achieve success.

*To register for the conference, please email with you name and contact info.

Today is the day!

April 4, 2016

Today marks the beginning of a bright new chapter in the history of LSS.

April 4, 2016 will be remembered as the day that launched LSS into its second century of service to the people of South Dakota. Today is the day that LSS officially launches its campaign to create “The Campus on East Bank” in downtown Sioux Falls.

More than five years ago, LSS began to dream of opportunities which might lie before the agency. One of those opportunities was to have a single facility in Sioux Falls which would house multiple services in one convenient location in the downtown core of the city. The new facility would provide greater visibility, be in a campus-like setting with adequate parking, have convenient access to public transportation and allow room to grow.

In the summer of 2013, we shared that dream with the business community of Sioux Falls and were excited by the positive response we received. In November 2013, we presented our dream and our plan to the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Community Appeals Committee and in February 2014 they told us they shared our dream and granted us approval to conduct a fundraising campaign to raise $1.25 million from Chamber members.

LSS.EB.DigiAd.300x250Two years have passed since that day in February when we learned of the Committee’s decision. There have been many twists and turns, starts and stops along the way. Yet we have never wavered in our dream, nor in our work toward realizing it.

And we will realize it. Thanks to the determined and positive leadership of our campaign co-chairs Tom Dempster and Fred Slunecka, our nine team captains and more than 80 Chamber volunteers, we will hit the streets of Sioux Falls to make more than 400 personal solicitations of Chamber members.

We will succeed and soon we will have a permanent home for our Center for New Americans, Center for Financial Resources, Counseling Services, Mentoring Services, Fatherhood & Re-entry Services and possibly LSS administration in the former Kilian Community College property adjacent to the Big Sioux River on 6th Street in downtown Sioux Falls.

Yes…Today Is The Day!

Bill Peterson
LSS Vice President, Development & Foundation

A Happier Holiday

December 16, 2015

holidaystressshrunk25Christmas is a most wonderful time of the year: Family, friends, lights, music, traditions of faith, and presents. It’s a time to show gratitude for the gifts that have been given.  At work it’s a time to decorate, extra treats in the break room and the annual holiday party.  With the joy of the season comes extra projects, changes in work and family schedules, more financial responsibilities and return of long lost friends and family members. Read the rest of this entry »

Counseling & Motorcycles: Therapy on Two Wheels

October 23, 2015
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So, recently I learned how to ride a motorcycle. You may be wondering what on earth this has to do with counseling and I will tell you it has everything to do with counseling. I went in with the mindset that I wanted to learn for many reasons. However, one main reason was to challenge myself to try something out of my comfort zone. I realize that I preach day in and day out to people asking them to try things that are new and different for them, with the hope that by doing this they will see a change in their life. Read the rest of this entry »

Sparkle in Their Eyes: Being Mindful in the Moment

April 10, 2015

As spring is springing and birds are chirping, things can get a little busy and hectic. My to-do list grows like the grass and the budding trees. However, I am finding it more and more important to take a minute or 10 to stop and pay attention to the world around me. I recall a conversation I had about a year or so ago with a friend of mine who now has grandchildren of her own. We were talking about all this rat race business and she stated to me “I hope you don’t get so busy that you forget to notice the sparkle in your child’s eyes.” That statement has really stuck with me. Read the rest of this entry »

6 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship

February 13, 2015

Happy mature coupleValentine’s Day is a day that some people celebrate and a day that others tend to dread.  For everyone, it can be an important reminder to lift our relationships up and to think about the blessings our loved ones provide.  As a marriage therapist, and a spouse of 43 years, I remind myself that it is often the little things that matter most in a relationship.  The memories you share, the experiences you create, and the love you nurture on a daily basis provide the foundation for a lifetime of marriage.

There are some very simple guidelines to follow when you are in a relationship that, if you follow, will support the relationship through difficult times:

1. Agree on How to Disagree

One of the first ground rules is to agree on how to resolve conflicts so that they are managed with respect and result in some form of agreement.  There are several ways couples can chose to do this, but the common thread involves active listening and empathizing with your partner’s intentions, concerns and needs.  While disagreements can often turn animated, it is crucial that the respect for the other person’s thinking and feelings remain paramount.  According to research, about 75% of our marital conflicts are not solvable, yet that should not be the focus of the marriage.  You may have to let go of some expectations.  Your partner may not become the household chef, or share your standards of organization, but in letting go you gain something much richer than a good meal or an orderly home.

2. Give Technology a Break

Turn off technology at an agreed upon time in the evening when you are both home.  This includes everyone in the home, especially pre-teens and teens who want to text and play computer games.

3. Everyone Needs Their Rest

Go to bed at the same time so there is time to cuddle and relax several nights a week.  Ideally, there should be no technology in the bedroom – no TV, no phones, no computer and no paperwork from your job spread across the bed. If you have children, make sure they are in bed and getting the sleep they need.  They also should have no TV or computer games for 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime.

4. Schedule Time to Relax

As a couple you need to have relaxing time together for 90 minutes or more at least 3 nights a week.  Have evenings that you both agree are “low expectation nights.”  No “we have to talk” discussions should be held after the set relaxation time.  Instead, set a time for those discussions when you both have had time to think about how you can discuss the problem when you are both refreshed with sleep.  If you are sure you are right in a conflict and feel like the victim, you are probably wrong.  You are, in fact, 50% of the answer.

5. Plan a Date Night

Plan a date night every 2 weeks where you have time to relax and talk to each other.  This is a time for play, humor, sharing dreams and goals, and relaxing.  It is not the time to discuss parenting or marital issues.

6. Show a Little Tenderness

Bring kindness into your relationship.  Show that you are thinking about the other person when you are not together by what you do when you are together.  This is not about gifting, but about showing thoughtfulness to the other person.

These are just a few ideas for couples to consider in a relationship. It is important to remember that all relationships require time, resources and energy in order to grow.   Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or dread it, use the day as a reminder to reflect on your commitment and to enrich the love in your marriage.

If you are struggling with your relationship, the counseling staff at LSS can help. Call 1-855-334-2953 or visit to schedule an appointment.

Colleen Miller
Licensed Professional Counselor
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

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