In 2023 alone, over 1,600 children in South Dakota are in foster care, yet hundreds more foster families are needed. That’s where South Dakota Kids Belong comes in. Since its formation, South Dakota Kids Belong has made significant progress in helping every kid find a loving family and place to call home.
This summer, the South Dakota Federation of Republican Women (SDFRW) decided to do something special to help – we planned a statewide event to raise awareness about the need for foster families in South Dakota.
Our event was free to attend and began with family-friendly activities, games, and prizes, including professional face painting, fishing game, ring toss, limbo, suction-cup archery, bean bag toss game, croquet, and more. As dinner time approached, we dished up a feast of chicken strips, French fries, and lemonade while we heard from special guests Lt Governor Larry Rhoden, 2nd Lady Sandy Rhoden, and SD Kids Belong Executive Director Damon Woolsey.
Sioux Falls City Councilman David Barranco was also on hand to talk with people about the need for foster families in South Dakota. Renowned bull whip maker Todd Kringen gave a demonstration in whip cracking — with Lt Governor Rhoden (an expert whip-cracker in his own right!) joining in the fun. Then we danced the night away to live music by The Barn Flies Band.
We ended up with a variety of press coverage, including a front page article in the local newspaper as well as coverage on multiple radio stations and social media well beyond SDFRW's network.
Please note: even though these photos were shared with permission, to help keep the kids safe, we blurred out all minors’ nametags.