Organizations Join Forces

feed bunk Rose Manor

In time for planting season, Modern Woodman of America with Vicki Condon, financial representative and Winner Ladies Auxiliary VFW #4674 delivered planters to Rose Manor of Colome, Golden Prairie Manor and Elder Inn both of Winner.  The  project was completed in conjunction with the Good Neighbor program.  The planters built by veteran Ken Van Kekerix are designed to resemble “feed bunks”.  The dirt and plants were also provided to the facilities. Residents of the facilities should be able to work in the garden without having to get down on their knees.  A wheelchair or chair will facilitate their planting, weeding, harvesting and anything else that needs done to a flower or vegetable garden.

The public is encouraged to drive by and look at their beautiful garden in late July or August.  One resident stated, “I can’t wait to get my hands in the dirt and watch the flowers grow.”

Members Demonstrate Leadership Skills at State FCCLA Conference

molly connot fccla legislative

1,400 students recently attended the state convention of the South Dakota Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), which was held April 26th  – 28th at the Ramkota Convention Center in Sioux Falls. The Hunger Games themed event was a great success. FCCLA members attended workshops, competed in STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Events, and ran for leadership positions. On Sunday night, students listened to highly acclaimed keynote speaker Kent Julian. Students also had the opportunity to attend workshops presented by Kent Julian, State Leadership Team members, and special guests.  Shannon Duffy presented a workshop for the Trends State Leadership Team.  Molly Connot, a 2014-15 State FCCLA Officer, presided over the meeting along with the 9 other state officers.  On Monday, the new state executive council was announced.  Abi Leyden, a sophomore at Winner High School, was elected to serve as the 2015-2016 SD FCCLA Vice President of Chapter Recognition where she will help recruit and retain over 2,000 members across the state. STAR Event winners were also announced; seventeen members competed in various STAR Event competitions that advanced from district competition.  Gold medal winners in their respective STAR Event Categories include: Shannon Duffy, Sydnie Peters, Abi Leyden, Bethany Cable, Bailey Harter, Marcie HeHaan, Brea Heth, Deiyondra Gillis, Chantelle Brill, Dani Ferguson, Janine Bartels, and Taylor Audiss; Silver Medal Winners include JoHannah Whiting, Molly Connot, Emily Moser, Alex Meiners, and Hannah Peterson.  Top Superior Medal Winners include:  Brea Heth, Bethany Cable, and Shannon Duffy.  Shannon Duffy won the overall plaque in Career Investigation and will be representing South Dakota at the national meeting in Washington, DC in July. Molly Connot was selected to serve on the Advocacy State Leadership Team for the 2015-2016 school year.  The chapter received numerous Power of One Awards and was named a Gold Level Merit Chapter State award winner.  Mrs. Brockhoft was named the South Dakota FCCLA Adviser of the Year.

The Winner Chapter received a Gold Award from the State Outreach Leadership Team and a Silver Award from the Trends State Leadership Team for service projects completed throughout the year.  The Winner FCCLA Chapter also received the District VI Top Honors Award for having the highest STAR Event score average of all schools competing from District VI.
Judy Duffy, Brad Duffy, Linda Nelson, and Susan Hauff accompanied the students as chaperones and served as judges for the event.   Kris Brockhoft, Winner FCCLA Adviser, accompanied students and served as a STAR Event Lead Consultant for the Career Investigation competitions.

FCCLA was first established in 1945 and in South Dakota in 1946.  The family has served as the focus of this organization since its establishment.  It is a career-technical student organization that prepares youth to assume adult roles in society as wage earners, community leaders, and caring family members by giving them the “life skills” they need to thrive in their communities, careers, and families.

Students Honored at DWU

Area students were honored at the Dakota Wesleyan University  honors banquet on April 24.

Michael Rohde, Colome, received the Harriet Houk scholarship; Anthony Husher, Winner, St. Joseph Hospital endowed scholarship; Austin Calhoon, Winner, Education Learning Through Service scholars; Lindsey Calhoon, GBHEM United Methodist scholarship; Anthony Husher and Michael Rohde, Phi Kappa Phi; Tyler Vavra, Pi Gamma Mu, a national social science fraternity intended to stimulate achievement by students in the social sciences; Husher, Rohde, Austin Schroeder, Sigma Zeta—science and mathematics; Emily Richey and Tyler Vavra, F. Dwain Randall scholarships; Anthony Husher, Michael Rohde, Tyler Vavra, Sara Husher, honor scholarships; scholar-athlete awards—Anthony Husher; NAIA-Daktronics All America scholar athletes—Rohde, football.

New Members Take Seat on City Council

city donation to lib

By Dan Bechtold, Editor

Frank Finney was elected the president of the Winner City Council as the new term for city officials started Monday night.

Elected as vice president was Dave Baker.

The oath of office was given to three persons who are beginning to serve a two year term. Finney will serve another term in Ward One. New to the council this year and taking their seats were Jody Brozik in Ward Two and John Meyer in Ward Three.

Plaques were presented to Val Sherman for her 16 years on the council and Zach Anderson for his four years on the council.

Mayor Jess Keesis made several appointments. Paul Jensen was named city attorney and Sandy Steffen was named assistant city attorney.

Paul Schueth was appointed police chief and Rhonda Augspurger was appointed finance officer.

Appointed as city engineer was the firm of SPN of Mitchell.

Re-appointed to the city planning commission were Kay Berg and Joe Hockett.

Council committees for 2015-2016 include:

Police commission—Jess Keesis, Frank Finney and Jena Littau

Cemetery, parks and recreation—Jena Littau, Dave Baker and Jody Brozik

Utilities/streets/drainage—Frank Finney, Brad Schramm and Jody Brozik

Finance and ordinance—Frank Finney, Jena Littau and John Meyer

Insurance/administration building and fire hall—Littau, Brozik and Schramm

Union committee—Keesis, Finney, Augspurger and Paul Jensen

Administrative policy/personnel—Finney, Baker and Meyer

Emergency management/airport—Finney, Schramm and Baker

Third District planning/ Chamber of Commerce/economic development—Keesis

Housing/county relations—Keesis

Senior citizens—Frank Finney

The mayor and city council members signed an ethics pledge which is  part of city ordinance 830.

A look at you… Karla Brozik

bill matousek   chamber

Name:  Karla Brozik

Birthplace:  Mitchell, SD

Family:  3 brothers, 1 sister, 2 daughters, 1 son.

Currently reside where:  Winner, SD

Occupation:  Executive Director of the Winner Area Chamber of Commerce.

The best thing about my job is:  Networking with the members.

My most prized possession:  My children.

Favorite musician(s)/band(s):  Toby Keith, Blake Shelton.

Favorite holiday and why:  Independence Day – usually a fun and relaxing day.

Hobbies:  Coach softball, listening to music, scrapbooking.

My favorite snack:  Fruit smoothies.

If I won the lottery:  I probably won’t because I don’t play. But if I did, I would probably save the majority of the money and give to organizations that need it.

My definition of a great evening is:  Hanging out with friends.

The best thing about where I live:  We live in a caring community.

If I’ve learned one thing in my life, it’s:  Be yourself.  Count your blessings.  Actions speak louder than words.

Like Nature in Spring, SPARKLE is Flourishing

sparkle car wash

By Dan Merritt, Advocate reporter

They decided someone needed to clean-up this town and they were right.

A cleaning business begun in winter 2014 is flourishing in Winner — and the area, as well — to the point of possibly hiring more workers, says Mardi Pederson.

“It’s going really well. Really well. We’re really busy. Better than I could have hoped.”

After several months of consideration, she and her mother Kaye Eckerman launched SPARKLE Cleaning Company, LLC on Feb. 14, 2014.

They have a crew busy every day cleaning homes, some businesses, and plenty of automobiles, as well.

(Yes, they will take-on that messy inside and muddy exterior car of yours and make that dirty ride all clean and shiny inside and out.)

Appointments for cars need to be made at which time costs for the service can be discussed, Pederson added.

Watts Works with Math Studio

jimmi watts and story


By Dan Bechtold


Growing up in Winner, Jimmi Watts always had a passion for teaching.

As a first grader, Watts had Jo Haffield as a teacher. The first grade teacher so inspired Watts that even in first grade the student made a vow to become a teacher. That promise carried over to  high school. When Haffield was an elementary counselor she worked with the Character Counts program and Watts had the opportunity to work with elementary youths.

Now, Watts is teaching kindergarten students in Omaha, Neb., and is part of a program known as Math Studio in the Omaha Public Schools.

Watts, daughter of Rusty and Penny Heenan of Winner, graduated from Winner High School in 1998. In 2003, she received her degree in in elementary and special education from the University of South Dakota. In 2006, Watts earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. In 2010, Watts received a elementary math specialist degree.

She teaches in the Belle Ryan School in Omaha and has 21 students in kindergarten. In that class, the students speak seven different languages.

Watts is taking part in a process called Math Studio, a model classroom that provides professional development for teachers, coaches and administrators. It’s a small piece of a $5.5 million grant to bolster math instruction in the Omaha Public Schools from the Sherwood and Lozier Foundations.

Freshmen Compete in Essay Contest

high school essay participants

Winner High School freshmen English students took part in the South Dakota 4-H Quotes to Live By essay contest.

WHS freshmen English teacher Cyndy DeMers said she had every freshmen write an essay about their favorite maxim.

Statewide record numbers participated in this year’s contest.

Karelyn Farrand, SDSU Extension 4-H Character education field specialist, said “The increase in participation is exciting news. I am especially pleased that more students have been given the opportunity to learn from maxims.”

Participants use critical thinking skills to examine how a maxim impacts their lives. “It helps them build a stronger character foundation by reflecting on their own lives and who they are and are going to be as a persons of character. It is also good to see more students practicing and improving their reading and writing skills by participating in this contest.”

The contest is designed to promote reading, critical thinking and composition skills. Participants choose a maxim from a predetermined list and write an essay that shows how the maxim fits into their lives. The contest was offered to all South Dakota youth in fourth, seventh and ninth grades.

Hossle, Soles Win FFA State Degree

hossle and soles ffa


By Dan Bechtold


Nick Hossle and Lesley Soles received their state FFA degree at the recent state  convention in Brookings.

Wyatt DeJong, Winner High School FFA advisor, says less than one percent of the start Future Farmers of America membership received his degree.

“It takes a lot of work and commitment on the part of the student,” said DeJong.

Students must keep records for three years in a certain project area.

Soles worked in food science and technology and Hossle worked in beef production.

In addition to keeping records for three years, a student must have a minimum of 15 community service hours plus need a grade point average requirement.

“It is a nice honor and I am impressed to have two students receive it. I am blown away by their commitment,” said DeJong.

Doctor Spends Month in Winner

dr. ashraf


Dr. Muna Ashraf is spending a month in Winner as part of her family practice residency.

She started work at Winner Regional Clinic April 6 and will leave May 1. She will return to Sioux Falls where she has two months left on her residency.

In September, she will start  work for McGreevy Clinic in Sioux Falls.

The doctor graduated from the University of South Dakota Medical School in 2012 then went into a family practice residency program at Center for Family Medicine in Sioux Falls.

This is not her first visit to Winner, as a sophomore in medical school, Ashraf spent a month working with doctors at Winner Regional Clinic.

In Winner, she has been seeing patients at the clinic and being on call in the emergency room at the hospital.

“In a small community, I enjoy the variety of being able to do emergency medicine plus also work in the clinic. I enjoy the warmth of people in a small community. They are very kind,” she said.

Ashraf has a degree in computer science graduating from Augustana College, Sioux Falls, graduating in 2000. For five years she worked in the computer field at Citi Bank and Sencore. For these firms she did a lot of programming.

Ashraf is a graduate of Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls and always had an interest in science. While working with computers, the doctor found she missed working with people.

For three years, she worked with people with disabilities at Lifescape and also took pre-med classes.

“I enjoy interacting with patients and I have a passion for medicine,” she explained.