Skip to Main Content

Foundation News

HeARTS in Healing:Touting Artistic Talents Creates Success

Thank you to everyone for supporting the 2015 HeARTS in Healing fundraiser benefiting patients and families at Avera Behavioral Health Center. The event, held on Saturday, February 7, raised approximately $55,000. Your gifts make a difference in the lives of patients and families receiving services at the Avera Behavioral Health Center.

Gifts to Avera McKennan’s Holiday of Caring Fills Both Trees and Hearts!

Thank you to all the departments, individual employees and loyal friends of Avera McKennan who made this year’s Holiday of Caring a magical success for many families in need. Because of friends like you, the Avera McKennan Foundation had nearly 40 families sponsored by various individuals and hospital departments.

In addition, holiday meals were supplied and countless gifts were found under our trees to support the needs of the Walsh Family Village and put smiles on the faces of children in the pediatrics department.

Remember, it’s never too late to show your support, click here to make your year-end online donation or call 605-322-8900.  

Avera McKennan Foundation Receives Gift from Sammons Financial Group

Sammons Financial Group is donating $9,800 to both the Avera Family Wellness Program and Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center will be able to help more patients and families thanks to a nearly $20,000 gift.

Cancer services and programs at the Avera Cancer Institute. The Avera Family Wellness Program focuses on early intervention with children enrolled in early childhood programs by providing violin instruction and family health coaching.

Sammons Financial Group is also funding various cancer programs and services such as integrative medicine, navigation services, survivorship programs, advanced technology and research. The group also sponsors the Avera Race Against Breast Cancer which also supports cancer programs and services.

Thank you to the Sammons Financial Group for their generous contribution this holiday season!

All Women Count! Program Receives Recognition

Thanks to your support of the Avera Race Against Breast Cancer, the All Women Count! Program at Avera recently received the Women’s Cancer Network Partnership Award. On November 7, the foundation was honored to receive this award from the South Dakota Women’s Cancer Network.

The All Women Count! Program, which is funded through proceeds from the Avera Race, assures that all women in South Dakota have access to quality education and screening services for the early detection of breast and cervical cancer as well as additional survivorship services. This award recognizes the invaluable contributions from all of you to help Avera in the fight against cancer.

Lincoln High School Gives Back

Thank you to the Lincoln High School Student Council for giving back to the community! In October, they raised over $1,000 by auctioning off football jerseys in h onor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Proceeds benefit local patients and families at the Avera Cancer Institute.

Feisty Fighters Group Donates $10,000 to Avera Cancer Institute

The Sioux Falls-based cancer-fighting organization known as Feisty Fighters donated $45,000 to cancer research at a press event on Oct. 16.

Kris Gaster, Assistant Vice President of Outpatient Cancer Clinics with the Avera Cancer Institute, was on hand to accept a $10,000 donation from the organization, which is made up of men and women from the area who host events, including a 60-mile walk, to raise money and support efforts towards a cure.

Feisty Fighters also donated funds to the Susan G. Komen South Dakota and the Edith Sanford Cancer Breast Cancer foundation at the event. Gaster said the funding will go towards research, especially genetic work that can help patients who may benefit from drugs not yet approved for use by the FDA.

Learn more about Feisty Fighter efforts in South Dakota.

Cut for a Cause!

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Empire Mall on Saturday, October 4 to celebrate breast cancer awareness with a new "do." The Salon and Younkers hosted this annual event which raised nearly $900. Proceeds from this cutting-edge money maker benefit local cancer survivors and their families. Thank you again!

Local Fraternity Shows They Care with Bears! 

Members of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity from the University of South Dakota delivered a load of teddy bears to the Avera Children’s Hospital, as part of their 19th Annual Teddy Bear Run. Fraternity members actually ran the bears in shifts 60 miles up Interstate 29. 

This year’s Teddy Bear Run raised over $5,600 to help Avera carry out the vision of caring for the body, mind and spirit of a child with every penny staying local to help children and families get the treatment and support needed.  

Thank YOU to everyone who contributed to the barrage of bears; because of you, the children at Avera Children’s Hospital had a fun distraction during their day.

Ride Pink Poker Run Clutches Breast Cancer

It was a day of pink power at the Ride Pink Poker Run on Aug. 4! The adrenaline-filled event raised $3,000 to benefit breast health services at the Avera Cancer Institute. Thank you to our event sponsors, attendees and volunteers for making a difference in the lives of local cancer patients and their families.


Thank you to our grateful golfers for taking a swing at curing cancer on Sept. 9 for the Compassion in Action Golf Tournament. Because of supporters like you, over $16,100 was raised to help patients and families at the Avera Cancer Institute!

Avera Race Picks up the Pace!

Avera Race Against Breast Cancer

It was a tough battle, but thanks to you we took the title at the 26th Annual Avera Race Against Breast Cancer. This year's race had more than 6,100 participants. Thank you to all our survivors, participants, sponsors and volunteers for raising more than $375,000 for the fight.

Your dollars directly support patients and families in so many way. From spiritual care to world-class research, one-hundred percent of all Avera Race proceeds remain local. Thank you again for Igniting the Fight! For more information on runner times, event photos or to make an online gift, visit

Cheers for Children: Thank You for Supporting the Big Grape

The Big Grape 2014

It's not luck that give young patients at Avera Children's Hospital a chance at a healthy life. It's your support in events like The Big Grape: Next Generation that allows Avera Children's Hospital to fulfill its mission.

This year, we are proud to have raised $145,000! Thank you for your investment in the health of the children in our community. Through your generous support, Avera Children's Hospital can fulfill the promise to save lives and care for children, bringing hope and healing to those who need it most. For more information on supporting The Big Grape: Next Generation, visit

Baking in the Cash!

The Nurse Governance Council bake sale brings in the bucks to benefit nurses! Almost $6,000 was raised to support the Nursing Excellence Fund! Thank you to everyone for baking, buying and benefiting!

The Nursing Excellence Fund supports innovative education initiatives and research endeavors to continue to develop nursing excellence in caring for patients. Thank you again for supporting our nurses!

Compassion In... the Bag!

Thank you to everyone for their support in the Compassion in Action Charity Rummage. Over $2,000 was raised to benefit patients with blood disorders or those undergoing a bone marrow transplant.

Thank you for supporting the patient and families at Avera Cancer Institute!