Concert assists HYLC continue its community grant funding

HURON — For the third straight year, the Hegg Brothers will bring their Holiday Jam to the Huron area. This year’s show, which is a fundraiser for the Huron Youth Leadership Council, will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10, at the Huron High School Auditorium.
Tickets are available through the Huron Chamber and Visitors Bureau, either by stopping at the office or through the website - www.huronsd/chamber-of-commerce.
Holiday Jam is a long-running holiday tradition that continues to highlight new musical twists. This two-hour show features stories of the season, messages for the heart, and music to lift the spirit. This year’s tour again includes horns, sax, piano, guitar and percussion to round out the ensemble.
Jeremy Hegg is the music director for Holiday Jam and is an arranger and composer for the Augustana Brass Choir, the S.F. Municipal Band, as well as many marching band programs throughout the country. Younger brother Jonathon Hegg has arranged music for a wide variety of college and high school ensembles, as well as for the final three years of A South Dakota Acoustic Christmas.
Once again, the Hegg brothers have put the band back together, this year for the group’s ninth annual tour. Returning this year is singer Allison Nash of Sioux City and Joel Shotwell of Sioux Falls. The rest of the group includes Andrew Reinartz and Jim Spears of Sioux Falls, Xopher Smith of Dell Rapids and Valley Springs native Derek Hengeveld.
The group performed two years ago at a fundraiser for the Leadership Huron class as it pursued the purchase of specialized playground equipment for the area near Splash Central. Last year’s concert was hosted by the Huron Chamber and Visitors Bureau and this year, it is the HYLC that has stepped forward to host the fundraising event.
The Huron Youth Leadership Council thrives beneath the auspices of the United Way Heartland Region, as an example of the UW’s belief that “engaging the next generation of leaders is a key factor to the vitality of our community,” said UWHR exedutive director Rhonda Kludt.
From start up money that was granted to the organization several years ago, scores of Huron High School students have participated in the program. It’s objective is to invest in the area’s youth, by offering grants of up to $500 to nonprofit groups and organizations in the area, that will creat solutions and opportunities for Huron-area youth to grow in leadership development and to build the skills that will help them become successful adults.
Grant applications generally take place in the spring. The members of HYLC read the applications and make the decisions on which will be granted in given period.
One of those organizations is a Pheasant Plot Pollinating project established by former HYLC member and current Iowa State University student Alison Fenske. Fenske is the president of the ISU Pheasants Forever chapter.
“I have received a grant from the HYLC for the past three years,” Fenske said. “This grant has helped me achieve my goal of getting kids outdoors to learn about the importance of habitat. This program also connects the roles of pollinating insects to the creation and sustainability of the habitat. Pollinator insects help the habitat by pollinating the plants to make more of them.
A big issue in today’s society is creating more sustainable habitat for wildlife, thus the importance of this project in our community.”
A small pollinating plot has been established in front of Huron Middle School and Fenske continues the work each year with students from the Washington 4-5 Learning Center.
“Without the help of HYLC I would not have been able to continue this project with the fourth- and fifth-graders in the Huron School District,” Fenske said.

Countless students have built upon the lessons that were learned as part of HYLC and continued that work in new scholastic settings after graduation and handed off to a new crop of underclassmen each spring.
“HYLC is a great organization in which to learn many new skills,” said Vanessa Tschetter, the secretary of the group this year. “My favorite part of HYLC is the grant process. Each February we begin accepting applications, which we review and rewrite if there are any changes.”
Tschetter noted that after the application period is over the HYLC begins reviewing all the accepted applications and deciding which applicants to interview, which is done before final decisions are made on which will receive grant monies.
“The groups which receive money are organizations that will impact youth, and it has been fun to be in HYLC and involved for the past three years,” she added.
A great deal of work goes on behind the scenes for an event such as the Hegg Brothers Holiday Jam. And when the work begins HYLC members draw on past lessons to make the project work, according to HYLC president Jamie Holforty.
“Being part of Huron Youth Leadership Council has taught me a lot about giving back to the community,” she said.  “We have three main focus areas: involvement in community organizations, volunteerism and philanthropy. The Hegg  Brothers  fundraiser is a great opportunity for HYLC to raise more money and to give back to the community.
“We are so grateful to all the 2017 Hegg Brothers sponsors: Carr Clinic, Paul and Muffy Christen, Doug and Rhonda Kludt, First National Bank, Dakota Family Dentistry, Ellwein Brothers, NuStar Energy, Anderson Furniture, The Clothing Company, Nordby Rentals, Prostrollo Motors, American Bank & Trust, Oscar and Janice Peterson, Mack Metal, Greg Krech, Marilyn Hoyt, Churchill-Manolis-Freeman-Kludt-Shelton-Burns Law Firm,  Tom and Jane Meekins, Sertoma, Burnison Plumbing, Fair City Sertoma, Westway Trailers, Dakotaland, and in-kind sponsors  Manolis Grocery and AARP,” Holforty said.  “We are so grateful for the support of all these sponsors and for their belief in the work of the Huron Youth Leadership Council.”

Photos submitted/Courtesy of Hegg Brothers
Students enjoy getting out and getting their hands dirty as part of the Pheasant Pollinator Project, which receives funding from the Huron Yoth Leadership Council. The HYLC will host a fundraiser concert on Dec. 10 - the Holiday Jam with the Hegg Brothers.
Students at the Washington 4-5 Learning Center learn about how pollinating plants and insects help to establish pheasant habitat, through a program funded in part by grant monies from the Huron Youth Leadership Council.

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