The Miller High School FFA and FCCLA Chapters along with the Service Learning class worked cooperatively on the Rustler Relief Fundraiser.
The project started when Lexy Gimbel, FCCLA Chairperson and Jan Gimbel were discussing the West River blizzard of 2013 after watching the news video about the immense number of cattle that were lost during the storm. Lexy, who owns cattle of her own, knew the blizzard could have easily hit closer to home, wanted to do something to help the ranchers. Jan worked for the Hyde County Farm Service Agency during the Blizzard of ‘97 and remembered how devastating it was for the ranchers. Lexy felt the best option was to raise money and send it to the Rancher Relief Fund.
They discussed options and thought the Penny War could be done school-wide now that the elementary school was on the same campus as the Junior/Senior High School. Lexy also wanted to do something “different” so she looked online for fundraising ideas and came across one for a basket raffle. Knowing that it is a good fundraiser for their church fall bazaar, the two decided it would be a way to involve a variety of school groups by asking them to donate a basket. Knowing that this would be a quick turnaround fundraiser they decided to ask the FFA chapter and Service Learning class to help with the fundraisers. Both groups agreed to help and the project took off from there.
The profit from the Penny War was $1705.28 which is pretty amazing! The kindergarten class won the elementary competition by bringing in four-gallon jars of money they collected for a total of $431.25. The basket raffle tickets were sold for $1 each and the raffle was also a huge success with a profit of $1,567. There were many groups and organizations that created and donated baskets along with many individuals who purchased the tickets. Even the Redfield and Sully Buttes fans were supportive of the effort at the volleyball and football games.
The third part of the fundraiser allowed an avenue for individuals who just wanted to donate to the Rancher Relief Fund. They were able to make a tax-deductible contribution and have it included in the total sent from the Rustlers. The donation total was $1,200. The total sent to Rancher Relief Fund from the three fundraisers was $4472.28
The FFA, FCCLA and Service Learning students appreciate everyone who purchased raffle tickets, brought in pennies, and made cash donations to the Rancher Relief Fund.
Lexy Gimbel stated, “We wanted to help our neighbors to the west and include everyone in our community from the kindergartners to their grandparents.”
If anyone would still like to make a donation, they can send a check directly to the Rancher Relief Fund and just ask to give credit to the Rustlers and the SD Cattleman’s Association will add it to our total.