Last weekend, 1,600 cattlemen and women from South Dakota and the surrounding region took a break from the hay fields, dusted off their cowboy boots and headed to town for a night of socializing, a steak supper, an auction and a country music concert at the annual Prime Time Gala held in Sioux Falls, S.D., and hosted by the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation (SDCF).
The event is much more than just a swanky evening in the big city. The Prime Time Gala raises money for Feeding South Dakota. Since 2014, the event has raised $966,110 for the state’s food bank, which has been used to purchase and distribute over 543,624 lbs. of beef for families in need.
This is an important donation given that just 7.4% of the 13.5 million lbs. of food that Feeding South Dakota distributes on an annual basis is beef. Of course, we know that beef is not only nutritious, packed with zinc, iron, protein, B vitamins and saturated fats, but it’s filling, too. With this donation, families in need can offer their children wholesome, protein-rich meals that will fuel their active days.
“On behalf of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation, I’d like to thank all of our sponsors, gala attendees and concert ticket buyers for helping to make the fifth annual Prime Time Gala a huge success,” said Ryan Eichler, SDCF president, in a recent press release. “The generosity of everyone in attendance is extraordinary, and as a result, more people in need will get access to the most powerful protein on earth; beef.”
This year’s event is the fifth annual, and raised a whopping $228,602 — much higher than the original pledge of $150,000. Funds were raised from corporate sponsorships, ticket sales, the raffle of a 2018 Chevrolet Duramax from Billion Chevrolet, a silent auction that included a guitar signed by Diamond Rio and a live auction for a John Deere tractor and an EBY stock trailer.
Feeding South Dakota distributes meals to all 66 counties in the state and provides 11.3 million meals to hungry individuals who rely on these donations to feed their families.
The event also gifts $15,000 in scholarships to college students who are studying agriculture and intend to stay in the industry after graduation.
What’s really neat about the Prime Time Gala is following the steak supper and auction enjoyed by cattlemen and women, the group joins the urban crowd who have purchased tickets for the concert. This year’s musical talents included Diamond Rio, Tracy Lawrence and Justin Moore, who put on an incredible show at the Denny Sanford Premier Center. Each year before the concert gets started, the SDCF presents the check to Feeding South Dakota in front of the crowd. It’s hard to put a price on the incredible exposure this gives the agricultural community. This event fosters good will between consumers and producers by providing nourishing beef for those in need. We need more promotional events like this, and I’m so proud of the individuals who put on this event each year.
Mark your calendar for the 2019 Prime Time Gala scheduled for June 22, 2019. Stay tuned for event updates and details at www.SDPrimeTimeGala.com.