Awards and Recognition 

Radio stations raise more than $52,000 for Mitchell scholarships

Feb 28, 2012 (The Daily Republic) --
The phone lines were busy at KMIT and KOOL 98 radio stations Monday as employees helped raise more than $52,000 for a scholarship fund at Mitchell Technical Institute.
The Mitchell Community Scholarship Fund was founded in 2001 with the goal to help any graduating Mitchell High School and Mitchell Christian School student continuing their education at a post-secondary institution.

Since then, the scholarship has helped more than 1,300 students by awarding more than $450,000.

KMIT general manager Tim Smith said in eight hours, the radio stations helped raise $52,200.

"To do that in one day is pretty awesome," said Julie Brookbank, director of marketing and public information at MTI.

The Radiothon ran from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, but the scholarship's main fundraiser will last all week.

Brookbank said the goal of Monday's one-day Radiothon was to sustain the amountlevel of scholarships. In 2011, the scholarship board of directors was able to award between 150 and 175 scholarships at $450 to $500 each.

"With the money we raised today I can safely say we'll be able to stay at that level," Brookbank said Monday.

Brookbank said donations are welcome anytime, but for this particular fundraiser donations can be addressed to 800 W. 10th Ave., Mitchell, S.D. 57301, dropped at KMIT/KOOL 98 studios at 501 S. Ohlman St. in Mitchell, or on the scholarship's website at

Students can apply for the scholarships on the website or through guidance counselors.

SPONSORS LISTED Major sponsors of Monday's Radiothon: --Avera Queen of Peace --First National Bank South Dakota --The Mitchell Exchange Club --Patzer Woodworking --Pepsi-Cola of Mitchell --Puetz Corporation --Tessier's --Thomsen Enterprises --Trail King --Vern Eide of Mitchell ___ (c)2012 The Daily Republic (Mitchell, S.D.) Visit The Daily Republic (Mitchell, S.D.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

Local scholarship fund: From
$18,000 to $45,000 in seven years

The Daily Republic 2/24/2010

An annual fundraiser that gives postsecondary scholarships to Mitchell students has grown from $18,000 to $45,000 in seven years, pleasing organizers and providing even more money for educational opportunities. The Mitchell Community Scholarship Fund’s annual radiothon, held Monday, raised $45,911, the most ever raised by the organization since it began in 2001. The one-day event was held, as usual, at Kool 98.3 and KMIT radio stations. Last year the fund rewarded 149 scholarships for $400 each. The money is used for all higher education, whether it is a technical school, liberal arts college or otherwise after the first semester of a student’s postsecondary education. Organization member Greg McCurry, of Mitchell, said Tuesday he is very happy with the support from the community. McCurry and many other volunteer board members answered phones Monday as calls steadily rolled in. “Anything we can do as a community to help our students with the cost of higher education is great,” he said. The Community Scholarship Fund offered an extra incentive this year for donors.

For every $25 donation or more that was called in, the donor earned a chance to win a Dell laptop computer. For every donation of $50 or more, the donor earned a chance to win a 50-inch LG Plasma TV. The winners of the laptop were Dean and Pat Miller and the TV was won by Constance Skinner, all of Mitchell. Signatures Restaurant also donated two gift certificates for $50 each and an Xbox 360 to help raise money; Bruce and Marlene Haines of Mitchell were the winners of the Xbox. A quilt was also donated by the Pin Cushion and was won by Brenda Freidel. McCurry also noted that all of the gifts are important, no matter their size. “What we want people to realize is that even the small gifts add up,” said McCurry. “We really want the $10, $20 and $50 donations because when you get enough of those; it adds up to $45,000.” Mitchell School District Superintendent Joe Graves, too, was pleased by the generosity from the community. “We were worried last year and this year about a tough economy; for the amount to grow is a real statement about our community and its generosity and willingness to support our youth,” he said. Graves also noted the wide range of higher education the scholarships are used for. “We have helped with cosmetology training,” he said. “We even wrote a check to a farrier school, where people learn horseshoeing. Whatever they want to pursue, we support it.” The number of applicants has grown each year from 100 to around 150. Seniors from Mitchell High School and Mitchell Christian School are eligible to apply. If a student chooses to wait to go to college, money remains available for up to two years. Donations always are welcome. One way to help the fund grow is to sign up for a program that rounds up city utility bills to the next dollar amount. The difference is donated to the scholarship fund. Information on that program is online at www.mitchellcommunityscholarship. com. Board member Julie Brookbank was excited  about the response for this year’s radiothon. “I am just overwhelmed. It was so far beyond my expectations,” she said. 

Mitchell Community Scholarship Fund honored with the ASBSD “Community Service Award.”

The Daily Republic

A Mitchell philanthropic organization and a retiring Mitchell legislator both were honored with special awards Thursday during a statewide gathering of educators in Sioux Falls. State Sen. Ed Olson was presented with the Associated School Boards of South Dakota “School Bell Award” for his contributions to education statewide, while the Mitchell Community Scholarship Fund was honored with the ASBSD “Community Service Award.” The latter award is presented to individuals or groups that serve their local school districts in an exemplary fashion. The Thursday event was part of the annual joint convention of the ASBSD and the School Administrators of South Dakota, held at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. 

In introductory comments, ASBSD President Duane Alm, who also is president of the Aberdeen school board, acknowledged Olson’s service to education as a member of the state Legislature.“During his tenure in the House and Senate,” said Alm, “Sen. Olson has been strong advocate for public education, providing passionate leadership on issues affecting public education.” Olson attended the event accompanied by his daughter, Libby. He said later that he was pleased to receive the award, describing the gesture as “very nice.” He said he worked hard for both groups during his time in the Legislature. Olson, a former school administrator in the Mitchell district, is the outgoing chairman of the Senate Education Committee. He said he will continue his Senate duties until a successor is sworn in. As his time in the Legislature comes to a close, he said he is pursuing several opportunities in community development work. 

In presenting the Community Service Award, Alm noted that the objective of the Mitchell Community Scholarship Fund is to give every graduating senior a scholarship. He said that’s a goal that is “simple but steep.” “They have achieved their goal each of the last five years,” Alm said, “awarding more than $250,000 to 874 graduates. District leaders believe the Mitchell Community Scholarship Fund has contributed to a dramatic increase in the number of students pursuing post-secondary education — a figure that jumped from 62 percent in 2002 to 90 percent in 2007.” 

Current scholarship fund president Trish Delaney said Mitchell school board member Neil Putnam nominated the community fund for the award and it was accepted by Dana Price, Mitchell board president and also a member of the scholarship board for the past three years. “We’re extremely pleased to have our project recognized,” said Delaney. “It’s unique and we’re more than a little successful with it.” Delaney hoped public recognition “will generate interest in making a donation.” Price said the best feature about getting the award was that it was made by school boards and others involved in education. He said the scholarship fund group was encouraged Thursday to enter competition for a similar national award. “The nice thing about this award is that it challenges all school districts to come up with something like our scholarship award,” he said. 

The award is not limited to college students, he said, “but every single kid who chooses to continue his education—that includes those who go to tech schools or who choose to pursue their education out of state. For some kids, this might be the only scholarship they will ever get.” Price encouraged participation in the fund’s Utility Roundup program, in which utility patrons round up to the next dollar when they pay their bill. The money raised is used for scholarships.


Mitchell Community Scholarship Fund
821 N. Capital St.
Mitchell, SD 57301

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