Discover more from The Dakota Scout
Statewide run raises another $250K for South Dakota's only accredited suicide crisis center
The 437 Project doubles gift to The Helpline Center in second year of suicide awareness, prevention benefit
A team of 12 runners who pounded gravel, asphalt and pavement over the course 437 miles and three days have helped raise more than a quarter million to combat suicide in South Dakota.
On Sunday, The 437 Project presented a check for $251,007.93 to the Helpline Center during the closing ceremonies of its statewide benefit. The run covered 437 miles of road in between the Wyoming and Iowa borders before closing with festivities in downtown Sioux Falls.
"I was speechless when The 437 Project runners announced the total amount of the donation to the Helpline Center," said Janet Kittams, CEO of Helpline Center. "This represents the largest financial gift that the Helpline Center has ever received."
The Dakota Scout is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support a locally owned, operated and printed newspaper, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Sponsored by Avera Health and in its second year, The 437 Project brings together community and business leaders to traverse the state each fall, raising awareness about suicide, which is the 10th leading cause of death for South Dakotans, and the connection between physical health and mental health.
This year's runners included Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken, Micah Aberson of Cambria, Avera nurse Carter Gronseth, Orthopedic Institute's Erica Knip, Family Services therapist Benson Lagat, Dobesh Chiropractic's Lisa Larson, Kelly Marshall with Risk Administration Services, ChiroSport founder Ross McDaniel, Leadership South Dakota Director John Meyer, The Helpline Center's Alex Pool, and Marsh McLennan Agency consultant Rochelle Sweetman.
This year's donation more than doubles what The 437 Project raised last year, bringing the two-year total to nearly $372,000.
"This gift ensures that the Helpline Center can continue to provide hope and help across the state for our work in suicide prevention, crisis support, and grief aftercare," Kittams said. "Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude."