Cory Lurz benefit held at Kadoka City Park
Brian De Goes
The weather was perhaps a little windy last Saturday evening as 4:00 p.m. rolled by at Kadoka’s city park. That certainly had no effect on how pleasant the weather felt, or the success of the fundraising event being held that evening for former city council member Cory Lurz. The Lurz benefit seemed off to a great start, with a good sized number of Kadoka area residents enjoying socializing, watching their kids play, or joining the corn hole games.
The park as well was looking nicely kept, and ready for the event - even the park restrooms were back to full operation. Recent vandalism had rendered the facilities unusable, though city personnel labored to speedily make repairs, and just in time for the Lurz benefit. With the sun warmly shining on event goers, the setting was nearly perfect.
As corn hole players worked at deploying bags through the air, and hopefully through their target hole, nearby an inflatable kids play zone had been erected for kids to have fun with. Earlier on during the setup preceeding the event, volunteers had endeavored to set up an even larger kids inflatable. Unfortunately the wind had other ideas, and apparently kept pulling stakes right out of the ground. Efforts were abandoned until later that evening, when the wind died down enough to permit placement of the kids-magnet play zone.
Fund raising came from a variety of sources that evening, one of them coming in the form of ‘Da Bus!’ - a party bus both colorfully decorated, and loaded with loud music and strobe lights. Youngsters took quite a liking to the music and strobe experience. All they needed were a few tickets or wrist band to jump on board.
As part of the event a fishing tournament of sorts came into play starting the preceding Friday night, at 12:00 p.m and leading into the early morning hours. There were nine teams signed up for the competition. Winning teams generously donated their cash prizes to the Cory Lurz fundraising event. Teams and placement were as follows:
•Brendan Porch & Paul Smiley
•Chad Cerney & Bryce
•Stewart Letellier & AJ Left
•Jadyn Coller & Colby Fitch
•Teal Letellier & Brayden
•Jim Stilwell & Mason Stilwell
•Cam Uhlir & Carter Uhlir
•Dave Johnson & Makaylan
•Sauntee Coller & Jentre Coller
Chief of Police Woody Davis, and Jackson County Sheriff Matt Haugen were on site to show support for the Lurz family, socializing with a number of locals in the process. The turn out in general was quite good, and filled with fun for adults and youth alike. While adults socialized or played corn hole, the kids played on the party bus or jumped and climbed through the inflatables. Once supper time rolled around, lines quickly formed, and volunteers began serving the delicious combination of baked beans, potato chips, root beer, and irresistible shredded pork - sandwiched in the middle of a hamburger bun. Hold on to your chips and napkins was the name of the game though, as the wind was eagerly waiting for the chance to snatch something up.
At long last the pie auction arrived at just after 6:00 p.m. that evening, opening the doors for bidders to hopefully get the pie of their dreams. Just prior to the opening of the auction Heidi Coller stepped up to the microphone and thanked those who came together to support and sponsor the event. Thanks to numerous sponsors, not a penny needed to be spent on supplies, inflatable rentals, and such. Coller also gave attendees an update on how well Cory Lurz has been doing thus far. Presently staying in Rapid City and undergoing further rehabilitation, he has improved cognitive skills and making progress ambulating. At some point in the future he seems to be looking forward to coming home to Kadoka, and finding a job. His progress is certainly encouraging, and the support of the community at large truly commendable.
Finishing out the evening’s events was the pie auction. Wanblee pastor Gus Craven led a prayer before the auction began, the first pie off to a great start by going for $50 dollars. By the time of the auction’s closing some $3,000 dollars had been raised. Insurance company Modern Woodmen from Philip agreed to match funds by up to $2,500 dollars, further assisting in the fundraising process.