Third to Fifth Grade Summer Reading

Submitted Photo
Winner Elementary third to fifth graders who completed the summer reading program are in front from left Chloe Briggs, Katie Burns, Allie Tideman, Brynlee Spreckels, Tinley Shippy and Carter Peppel. Second row from left are Jed Rolf, Maddux Phillips, Rouge Patmore, Claire Pravecek, Aubrey Heenan, Baylor Murphy, Rylan Cook, Grace Barnes, Westin Foster, Sharlotte Tuttle. Third row from left are Evan Taggart, Ved Chaudhari, Allie Littau, Nick Assman, Jacob Gregg, Avery Antelope, Kenli Pollard, Auden Duffy and Riley Bachmann. This year the Tripp County Library and Winner Elementary School teamed up to hold one reading program.

Winner Regional Donation to Winner School

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Winner Regional Health has donated school and cleaning supplies to the Winner School District. Pictured in front from left are Rhonda Schroeder, Donna Hofeldt, Tammy Sargent and Terami Nespor. In back from left are Michele Piper, Jessica Rehak, Winner School Superintendent Keven Morehart, Rachel Gardner, Debie Weathermon and Eva Bowling.

The Rewards and Recognition Committee within Winner Regional Health (WRH) was led this past month by the Business Office and Health Information Management departments when they hosted a school supply drive.

Donations were received from WRH employees for Winner and Colome Public Schools. The initiative was very well received, which secured hundreds of dollars in supplies ranging from Lysol wipes, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, glue, highlighters, notebooks, backpacks, and pens, etc.

The cleaning supplies will help prevent the spread of COVID and the school supplies are always needed for students. With much of the work of these two departments keeping them behind the scenes, they appreciated the change in pace and the ability to give back to those in the community.

Winner Regional Donation of Supplies to Colome School

Submitted Photo
Winner Regional Health donated cleaning and school supplies to the Colome school. Pictured from left are teacher Teresa Yeaman, principal Dustin Christensen and superintendent Dr. Debbie O’Doan.

The Rewards and Recognition Committee within Winner Regional Health (WRH) was led this past month by the Business Office and Health Information Management departments when they hosted a school supply drive.

Donations were received from WRH employees for Winner and Colome Public Schools. The

initiative was very well received, which secured hundreds of dollars in supplies ranging from Lysol wipes, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, glue, highlighters, notebooks, backpacks, and pens, etc.  

The cleaning supplies will help prevent the spread of COVID and the school supplies are always needed for students. With much of the work of these two departments keeping them behind the scenes, they appreciated the change in pace and the ability to give back to those in the community.

Colome Homecoming Parade Winners

Dan Bechtold/Winner Advocate Photo
Candyland was the theme of the Colome junior class float in the homecoming parade on Sept. 17. They won first place in the high school float division.

The Colome junior class won first place for best high school float in the Colome homecoming parade on Friday.

Second place was a tie with the 9th, 10th and 12th grade.

Other parade winners include:

K-2nd grade division –1. 2nd grade; 2. Tie between Kindergarten and first grade

3-5th division –1. 3rd grade; 2. 4th grade and 3rd—tie between  Wood Elementary and 5th grade

6-8 grade—1. 8th grade; 2. 6th grade and 3. 7th grade

Business division –1. First Fidelity Bank of Colome, 2. Winner Area Chamber of Commerce

Classes—1. Class of 1966, 2. Tie 1951 and 2011.

Contractor updates public on highway work

By Dan Bechtold


T&R Contracting will soon be laying gravel from 7th St to the junction of Highway 18 and 44. This is was the report at the highway construction meeting held Sept. 16.

T & R Contracting, Sioux Falls, is the main contractor for the highway reconstruction project in Winner.

It is hoped that by the end of September concrete will be laid from 7th St. to the junction.

Doug Sherman of the Department of Transportation office in Winner said the next few weeks there will be no big changes in traffic  control. He said if there are changes the DOT will alert the public.

The first phase of this project is still on target to be completed some time in November.

Sherman announced the second phase of the project, which will start next year, has been awarded to Reede Construction of Aberdeen.

When Phase II starts, the first area to be worked on will be on Highway 44 from Subway east of the sale barn road.

When this is  finished work will start on Highway 18 from First Fidelity Bank to the bridge west of Winner.

Phase II is anticipated to be a two year project and will include city utility work.

Sherman asked for the public’s patience as construction work continues.

Persons can follow any updates on the DOT Facebook page.

These public highway construction update reports are steamed live.

Clara Vobr, 81

Clara Vobr, 81, of Mitchell, SD formerly of Colome, SD passed away on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 at the Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell, SD.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 at 2 p.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church in Colome, SD. Burial followed in the Colome City Cemetery.

Clara (Kaiser) Vobr was born in Winner, SD on Feb. 27, 1940 to Lydia (Bender) and Jacob Kaiser Jr. She graduated from Winner High School in 1960. 

After graduation she worked at West Side Cafe where she met Leonard Vobr. They got married on April 13, 1963 and resided on a farm east of Colome. They were married just short of 50 years before Leonard passed away in 2013. To this union there were four children born. In 1984 they moved to Colome. Clara then went to work for Sargent’s Cafe in Winner and then babysat for a family in Colome. 

In 2001 they relocated to Mitchell, SD to be closer to family where she would periodically babysit the grandchildren. When Leonard passed away in 2013 she continued living in her own apartment. She happily celebrated her 80th birthday in February 2020 with her children and nieces and sister and was so happy and talked about it to many.

Clara was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary of Colome, SD and a member of Ascension Lutheran Church in Mitchell, SD.

Clara is survived by her daughter Linda (LuVerne) Jager of Wessington Springs, her sons Brad (Jennie), Jerry and Gary (Kristy) Vobr all of Mitchell. Three grandchildren: Austin, Tiffany, and Carissa Vobr of Mitchell. Two Sisters, Eileen Kaiser of Brookings and Judy Swartz of Hamill, SD.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Leonard, her parents, Lydia (Bender) and Jacob Kaiser, Jr and her mother and father-in-law Ludvik and Stasie Vobr. Also preceded in death by her brother-in-law James Vobr, half-brothers Fritz Kaiser, Henry Kaiser, Rueben Kaiser, Arthur Kaiser, and Irvin Kaiser; half-sister Edna Wicker and sister Leona Ellis.

Betty Lou Kost, 88

Funeral services for Betty Lou Kost, 88, of Eagle Butte were held Monday, Sept. 13, 2021 at the Holloway Arena in Parade. Burial was  at the Eagle Butte Cemetery under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge.

Betty passed away Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, at the Mobridge Regional Hospital.

Just north of Parade, South Dakota, about 5 miles there is a sign at the ranch gate that reads “HE WHO ENTERS IS A STRANGER BUT ONCE”.  The author of these prophetic words really meant them.  Here is her story:

On March 11, 1933, Jack and Alberta Hayes Strong welcomed their first born, a beautiful, brown-eyed girl named Betty Lou.  Betty Lou Strong was brought into this world with the aid of a county nurse at Grandma Hayes’ home near Glad Valley – her folks were sheep herders following the sheep from hill to hill in their sheep wagon.  Betty Lou grew up riding her pony Snooky to herd the sheep.  She bathed in the dam, baked in the summer sun, and slept in the wagon.  While riding Snooky, she dreamed of being a cowgirl – a dream that she lived out in a big way through her children, grandchildren and now great- grandchildren.

 As Betty grew up, her momma wished for her to know the finer side of life and so, Betty was sent to live with Grandma and Grandpa Hayes for a short time and while there graduated from Morgani Modeling School in Denver, Colo.  Betty loved showing her girls how to set a striking pose when it came time for queen contests, proms, and pictures.  To this day, her daughters and granddaughters know that pearls will compliment any outfit.

Betty graduated from Eagle Butte High School in 1951.  That summer she attended Black Hills State College and that fall began teaching at the Strool Country School just south of Prairie City.  She also taught one year in Pavilion, Wyoming.

Betty Lou met her match in tenacity, hard work, and no quit in 1954 when she married Anton (Cotton) Kost, a handsome rancher. Together they commenced to building a ranch and farming operation with Betty Lou doing everything in her power to make it all work. That included attending summer school and taking extension courses to obtain that valuable teaching degree.  Betty taught second grade and when the Cheyenne River Agency moved to Eagle Butte, she moved to kindergarten.

Betty made kindergarten a famous and special place in Eagle Butte for over 40 years.  The lives that she touched are immeasurable.  Every student was special to her, and all believed that they were Mrs. Kost’s favorite.  Betty loved music and invited fellow teachers, Mrs. O’Neil and Ms. Sutphen to gather in her classroom for music.  Betty produced outstanding musical programs, and busy as they were, she could coax Anton into making elaborate backdrops for her programs.

In 1987 tragedy struck when Anton was killed in a farming accident while planting winter wheat south of Eagle Butte.  Betty continued to teach and partnered on the ranch with son John, a recent graduate of Kansas State University.  John put his animal science degree to work.  Daughter Melissa and husband Doug Maher were vital to the transition of the operation as well.  The workload was heavy – Grandma Betty was thrilled when granddaughter Lacy and grandson Dane came home to help.  Betty was a director for Production Credit Association (PCA) and in 1988 she was presented the South Dakota Pioneering Spirit Award in recognition of “The Tenacity, The Ability to Improve, The Unselflessness of the Pioneer”.

In 2002 Betty Lou made the decision to retire from teaching.  That year marked her 48th year of teaching.  Betty was honored to be the National (NAIA) Teacher of the Year in 1993.

Betty Lou loved rodeo.  She was determined that her crew be afforded the opportunity to win at every level.  From horses to pickups and trailers, she made it happen.  She hauled or followed her kids everywhere.  She donated countless buckles and awards.  She wrote countless letters, with a little spending money tucked inside, to her rodeo kids and many others.  When at a rodeo, Grandma Betty was where you went for times, scores, placings, and the answer to “how many til’ me”.  Betty was inducted into the Casey Tibbs Hall of Fame as a rodeo promoter in 2003.

Betty picked up where her folks left off as a prayer warrior for all.  She was remarkable in her Christian walk because she didn’t just believe it, she lived it.

Betty had pretty much been denying that she had Parkinson’s for the past 15 years.  Ever the positive one, she gritted through the debilitating disease.  On Sept. 6 Betty’s earthly journey ended, and her heavenly journey began.

Among her final words of love and confidence that all would carry on, she smiled ever so sweetly and said, “I loved what I did”.

Her beloved family includes son John Kost, Eagle Butte SD, daughters Renee (Bill) Sutton, Burke, SD, and Melissa (Doug) Maher, Eagle Butte, SD. Grandchildren Dee (Tyler) Haugen, Sturgis, SD, Lacy Maher, Eagle Butte SD, Billie (Kelsea) Sutton, Burke, SD, Rehme (Tayler) Thompson, Stephenville, TX, Dane (Sydney) Maher, Eagle Butte, SD.  Great Grandchildren, Landry, Arina and Blaisely Haugen, CeCe Lou Cowan, Liam Sutton, Maris and Maysa Thompson, Waylon and Vince Maher.  Sisters Lois (Texas James) Bennett, Fritch, Texas, Paula (Dan) Veit, Bismarck, ND.  Nephews Butch (Renee) Kost, Amarillo, TX, Steve Kost, Pierre, SD, James Lee (Charlotte) Bennett, Fritch, TX, Colby (Jessy) Bennett, Fritch, TX, Matt (Kendra) Veit, Malta, MT.  Nieces Judy (Martin) Albl, Aberdeen, SD, Cheryl (Brett) Hamilton, Palm Desert, CA, Gaye (David) Newlun, Palm Desert, CA, RaeLynn Snidal, Calgary Alberta, Canada, Penny (Lee) Hetletved, Bismarck, ND.

She was preceded in death by husband Anton Kost, parents Jack and Alberta Strong, twin sons Joseph Paul and Douglas Dwight, Great-Granddaughter Lenore Sutton, special cousins Ralph and Buck Scheele.

Winner High School Students of the Month

Submitted photo
Winner High School students honored as August students of the month include in front from left Keelie Kuil and Hannah Kaiser. In back from left are Justin Hausmann, principal Gerald Witte and Jacob Manke. Each month WHS recognizes for students who have done something positive in academics, athletics, activities, behavior, community involvement.

Marketing director joins Winner Regional Health

By Dan Bechtold


Brady Kerkman is the new director of marketing and philanthropy for Winner Regional Health.

He has over 20 years experience in marketing and fundraising.

Kerkman says he loves healthcare. “I know Winner pretty well and I have always had a passion for rural health care. I want to make sure we have a strong presence in the community,” he explained.

Kerkman added the health care center does a good of supporting local businesses and local schools.

“I want to put convenience back into healthcare,” he said. “Knowing that you do not have to travel to Sioux Falls or Rapid City for some services that are offered here is important.”

Prior to starting his new job in Winner, he was the executive director of MentoringWorks Inc., formerly Big Brother Big Sister of Hastings, Neb.

While in Hastings he got his master’s degree from Grand View University, Des Moines, Iowa. His master’s is in organizational leadership.

Kerkman grew up in Clearwater, Neb.   He graduated from Mt. Marty College in 1995 with a BA degree in social science with a double emphasis on psychology and sociology and a minor in commercial art.

For 20 years he worked in South Dakota. He worked for the Department of Corrections starting out in Redfield and then worked at the state training school where he was the residential director.

For eight years he worked for S.D. Advocacy Services which is a nonprofit disability agency. He was the director of two programs with this agency.

In this capacity he traveled all over the state and Winner was one of his coverage areas  and he would come here on a monthly basis.

Kerkman was appointed by then Gov. Mike Rounds to sit on the board of South Dakota vocational rehabilitation services.

The Department of Correction then recruited him  to come back. He was the policy compliance manager for three years and in that time wrote 640 policies  and oversaw the corrections review team.

He left the DOC when his wife, Maria, got a opportunity for a job in Salt Lake City, Utah. The couple lived in Salt Lake for three years. While Utah he was a program director for Utah Department of Health in the birth to three program.

After Utah, the family relocated to Grand Island, Neb., and Kerkman worked in Hastings.  He ran  various non profits including a child advocacy center and three health care clinics.

On the side, he owns a consulting business, BMD Enterprises, where he does fundraising, marketing, strategic planning and team development.

The job in Winner is a perfect fit.

He feels it is important to tailor the services of Winner Regional Health to the local community. “It is very important we customize our services to fit the culture of the community,” he said.

Kerkman also feels it is important to educate the community on the services that Winner Regional provides. “There are a number of services that people are not aware that are offered here.”

He is also impressed with the home-grown professionals who are working at Winner Regional Health. These are Winner High School graduates who have come back to the community.

The new marketing director and his wife have an 11 year old son, Dimitri.