Holiday Jam returns as HYLC fundraiser


HURON — They’re baaack. Once again, the Hegg Brothers and their cast of musical friends are set to return to the Huron High School Auditorium, for the 2023 version of Holiday Jam with the Hegg Brothers.

This year’s performance, which is the major fundraising event for the Huron Youth Advisory Council, is set for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13, hosted by the HYLC and made possible by a long list of supporting sponsors.

The concert is free of charge, but a donation is respectfully requested, to help HYLC with its ongoing grant program. Concessions, which also benefit the organization will be available during intermission of the show and donation boxes will be in place for the event.

If you would like to become a sponsor of this year’s show, contact Jen Bragg at the United Way, 605-352-3537.

The Holiday Jam has morphed from the vision of Jeremy Hegg and Jonathon Hegg’s jazz combo “Spooncat,” which were first guests of, and then became a part of the South Dakota Acoustic Christmas group that performed fundraising concerts across the state for many years. The cast on stage may change from year to year, but the cool holiday sounds are always on the beat and in perfect harmony.

As it has been in years past, this year’s Holiday Jam is a fundraiser for the Huron Youth Advisory Council, also knows as the Student United Way. No matter the acronym, the group is a student-run organization at Huron High School, the main goal of which is to promote youth giving back to youth. According to executive committee member AnneClaire Rubish, “We do this by focusing on these three pillars - philanthropy, community involvement and volunteerism.”

Members of the HYLC executive committee include, from left: Chasety Christensen, Chloe Culver, Marisol Dubon, AnneClaire Rubish, Aurora Dreyer and Heather Reyes.

Board member Chasety Christensen notes that the group sets aside one night where the board makes decisions on where to grant funds from that year’s fundraising activities.

“In the past we have funded things like the children’s area at the S.D. State Fairgrounds, and a club at the middle school that travels,” Christensen said. “We have also provided students at the Huron Public Library to play board games with kids after school. The BackPack Program is also something where students volunteer to help out.” She said that Aurora Dryer is the student coordinator.

Rubish added that other funding outlets in the past have included Destination Imagination, Royal Family’s Kid Camp, Post Prom, and BeliveFest.

The secondary goal of HYLC is to educate youth about the value in lending a hand in their community.

“HYLC has taught me to become more outgoing and outspoken,” Christensen said. “Being on community boards (Huron Chamber Board, United Way Board, Huron Community Foundation Board, Sertoma, Kiwanis) means having to talk to adults about the community and they want your opinion. It has taught me to become more confident in my social skills and I’ve appreciated the opportunities of meeting new people who help Huron.”

Rubish is thankful for the things she has learned via her three-year involvement with HYLC. She helps with the United Way board, as well as the board for the Jan Manolis Safe House, Our Home, the Huron Parks and Rec., HRMC and the Beadle County Humane Society.

“Being involved in this boards has helped me to be more outspoken, confident, and has helped improve my social skills,” Rubish said. “Serving on community boards has taught me that volunteering doesn’t have to stop outside of high school, and seeing so many adults who give up their time to make our community the wonderful place that it is is really inspirational.”