East River Electric’s 55th annual Mountain Oyster Feed was a success, raising $25,000 for LifeScape, an organization which promotes independence for over 2,500 children and adults with disabilities throughout South Dakota. The event was held at Nicky’s Restaurant in Madison on March 20 and was attended by 345 people.
East River’s Annual Mountain Oyster Feed has helped provide for the very best in medical care, therapy, education and other services for the children at LifeScape. Several local children and people from around the region are served by LifeScape.
“The charity event was very successful and a direct tribute to our employees fulfilling our Touchstone Energy Cooperatives principle of Commitment to Community,” said East River General Manager Tom Boyko. “I want to thank our employee committee who really stepped up and organized the event. Thanks also to everyone who helped prepare, serve, clean-up and attended the event.”
The East River Employees Committee donated $1,000, a total matched by East River Electric at $1,000. CoBank also contributed $2,000 to the event this year. In the 55 years since the East River fundraiser began, $275,000 has been raised to help LifeScape provide services to children and adults in rural South Dakota.
East River welcomes the public to attend the 55th annual Mountain Oyster Feed at Nicky’s in Madison on Wednesday, March 20 with serving beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Proceeds from the event will once again benefit LifeScape, formerly Children’s Care Hospital and School and SD Achieve, whose mission it is to empower children and adults with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives. With more than $224,000 contributed to LifeScape over the years, East River’s Annual Mountain Oyster Feed has helped provide for the very best in medical care, therapy, education and other services for the children at LifeScape.
“LifeScape is so honored to benefit from this tremendous event each year. It is so fun and so unique, and it brings the community together in fellowship and food, but more importantly, it brings the community together in support of children with disabilities. The money raised over the years has made a significant impact on the lives of hundreds of Madison-area children and their families supported by LifeScape,” said Jessica Wells, LifeScape Foundation president. “This is a tradition we love and look forward to each year. We are so grateful for this event and for the people of this community that show their compassion and care by coming out in support of this each year.”
The event’s menu will include mountain oysters, pork sandwiches, baked beans, coleslaw and dessert. There will be a raffle, door prizes, silent auction and 50-50 tickets.
“We appreciate the generosity of local businesses and the community in providing silent auction and raffle items for this year’s event,” said Elliot Shoup-Owens, East River Employees’ Committee chairperson. “East River Electric is committed to the communities we serve and this event is a great way for us to stay involved.”
PHOTO CUTLINE – East River Electric employees serve guests some of the signature fare at the 2018 Mountain Oyster Feed.
The Madison Lion’s Club received a $5,000 donation from East River Electric Cooperative in December. East River participated in CoBank’s Sharing Success Program which is a matching grant program. East River donated $2,500 and CoBank matched that amount.
The Lion’s Club is on a mission to serve by volunteering their time to improve communities. Larry DeKramer, Madison Lion’s Club President and Transmission Manager at East River, expressed appreciation for the generous donation. “Thank you for selecting the Madison Lion’s Club for this donation. We are excited to utilize the funds for our upcoming projects,” said Larry. Locally, the Lion’s Club is involved in free eye screenings for area youth and sets up American flags in the community on Flag Day.
East River utilized a matching grant program provided by CoBank to donate $5,000 to Special Olympics of South Dakota in December. East River donated $2,500 and CoBank matched that amount.
East River Electric General Manager Tom Boyko said, “The opportunity CoBank provides by matching our donation means an extra dollar on the dollar, which is substantial. East River is proud to help support the children and adults that benefit from Special Olympics of South Dakota.”
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Sandy McLeod Breuer, a volunteer with Special Olympics, expressed appreciation to East River and Co-Bank for the generous donation. “A group of coaches took 17 athletes to Aberdeen to participate in a Bowling Tournament. The athletes really enjoy the bowling events,” said Sandy.
“East River Electric is committed to the communities we serve and donating to non-profit organizations such as Special Olympics is a way for us to stay involved,” said Megan Rummel, East River Employees’ Committee Chairperson.
East River Electric Cooperative’s Madison crews removed a large evergreen tree from the yard of the same home that donated the Community Christmas Tree last year. They transported the tree from the residential area to the Dairy Queen parking lot. Employees from the City of Madison assisted East River in setting the tree. The Madison Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Magical Christmas Celebration on Saturday, December 1 to light the tree.
East River employees participated in a Thanksgiving food drive for the Lake County Food Pantry. Employees surpassed their goal of providing 24 complete Thanksgiving meals for local families. The meals included ham, dressing, potatoes and gravy, side dishes and desserts. Thank you to the Employees Committee for organizing the food drive.