Avera Guardian Awards
Thank you to our generous supporters and community partners for furthering the mission of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center. As an extension of gratitude, the Avera McKennan Foundation hosts the annual Avera Guardian Awards to recognize key donors and celebrate all those who support the mission.
Avera Spirit Award
Recognizes an individual for their exceptional commitment and lifelong dedication to further Avera's healing ministry and making a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities.
Jim has been a supporter of Avera McKennan for over 40 years. Starting when he did radio and public relations, his lifelong dedication is demonstrated through his generous support, dedicated commitment and various volunteer efforts. A former board member for the Avera McKennan Foundation Board of Directors, Jim also served on the Rural Cancer Advisory Board. He has been involved in numerous foundation fundraising campaigns such as the Avera Behavioral Health Center, the Caring for Cancer: Campaign for Avera Cancer Institute Sioux Falls, Little Footprints: Big Hearts: Campaign for Avera NICU and the campaigns for both Avera Prince of Peace and Dougherty Hospice House Endowment. Today, this tireless retiree is still known as the "go to guy" who can raise dollars with a phone call and still find time to visit the sick every day in the hospital.
Helen McKennan Award
Greg and Pam Sands
Recognizes individuals who have been leaders in our healing ministry and have inspired and mentored others. Their leadership extends past the mission of Avera to influence and impact the local community.
Greg and Pam Sands are dedicated supporters of numerous Avera McKennan Foundation capital campaigns including a lead gift for the new Avera Addiction Care Center. They are valued partners who share in Avera's healing ministry and have used their personal story of strength to help others. Both Founders who believe in securing the future of Avera McKennan, Greg and Pam are also currently involved in the annual gala for Avera Behavioral Health.
Luxury Auto Mall
Recognizes a business whose demonstrated outstanding commitment to Avera McKennan. This organization has established a strong internal culture of philanthropy, an ideal characteristic of a community partner.
Since 2003, Luxury Auto Mall has been a Title Sponsor of the Big Grape which has resulted in over a quarter of a million dollars raised to directly benefit patients and families at Avera Children's Hospital. A local organization that shares personal and professional values with Avera, their pride and dedication is seen through various promotions and fundraising activities throughout the entire year.
Honors community members who have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and key roles in advancing the foundation's development goals.
Monsignor Doyle has served as a lead community fundraiser for Avera Prince of Peace by serving on steering committees and spearheading fundraising campaigns for both the Sacred Heart Chapel and Dougherty Hospice House. He has served on the community advisory board for the Avera Family Wellness Program and in 2018, he established the Senator George McGovern Endowment to support the Dougherty Hospice House.
Avera Champion Award (clinical)
Dr. Andrew Burchett and Dr. Andrea Miller-Burchett
Recognizes employees, both clinical and non-clinical, for making a measurable difference in the visibility and success of the foundation through their actions and engagement.
Dr. Burchett has served on many Avera committees including the Avera McKennan Foundation Board of Directors. Together with his wife, Dr. Andrea Miller-Burchett, they established the Burchett-Miller Endowment to benefit the Dougherty Hospice House. The Burchetts have supported numerous capital campaigns at Avera McKennan.
Avera Champion Award (non-clinical)
Cathy has dedicated over 30 years to Avera during which time she has supported and assisted fundraising efforts for numerous campaigns such as serving on the steering committee for Caring for Community: Campaign for Avera Prince of Peace and also the Campaign for Dougherty Hospice House Endowment. Cathy and her family support numerous other capital campaigns and believe in support the future of Avera McKennan by being a Founder.