Second annual 'Novem-burn' grow-off to benefit Sioux Falls-area triage center, Helpline
Sioux Falls Police Chief Jon Thum rocks some impressive sideburns, a look he’s donned since he was 16 years old.
And he’s the inspiration for what’s now become an annual event that happens each November in Sioux Falls that seeks to raise funds and awareness for an initiative that helps folks struggling with mental health and addiction in southeast South Dakota.
Officially dubbed “Novem-burn For Hope,” the light-hearted event builds on funding established through the Sioux Falls City Council and Mayor Paul TenHaken’s office called Operation Hope, which covers costs related to counseling and rehabilitation services as well as basic amenities like shoes and clothing for people in need of the Link Triage Center and The Helpline Center.
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Tuesday kicked off the first-day of the grow-off, which pits a few community officials (and yours truly) against one another in their quest to grow a set of chops that might rival those that have strapped the chief’s face for more than two decades.
Also competing are Councilor Greg Neitzert, the defending champion, Mayor TenHaken, Public Works Director Mark Cotter and Bill Earley, the executive director at The Link.
Chief Thum will serve as the judge when the contestants return on Nov. 30 when their sideburns - or lack thereof in the case of Councilor Marshall Selberg - are graded.
To donate to the cause, checks can be sent to The Helpline Center, The Link or by using @novemburnforhope via the Venmo payment app.
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