Dear GreatLIFE Member, Team Members & Support Team,

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend with family and friends! Back in the late 70’s I bought a lake cottage at Lake Okoboji where in the summer we raised our kids and now share it with our grandkids as well. For over 40 years we have celebrated the 4th of July there. Each evening of the 4th there is a big firework display with the local radio station playing patriotic music during the fireworks. We had most of the kids, grandkids, and a dear couple with us as we sat out on the dock and watched the program. It started with the Pledge of Allegiance and everyone singing America the Beautiful. Having been blessed with many aspects of the “American Dream”, I got a little emotional thinking about how fortunate I and my family have been and what our country is going through these days.

As I thought about the blessings we have had – being the oldest of eight kids raised in Sioux Falls, having a mother that was a stay-at-home mom, not having all the technology and none of the challenges our country is dealing with- sure made life a lot simpler and enjoyable. As I continued to watch the fireworks and listen to the music, I am convinced we have more things that both sides have in common. We all want successful families, jobs and a better future for our kids and grandkids. We want safe communities, good schools and a government that is truly looking out for our best interests. If together we focus on the good things we have and treat each other with respect, we can make a difference in the lives of families and individuals. I pray we can come together as a country.

On July 25th we will be hosting our 3rd annual GreatLIFE Cares Foundation’s Challenge for Change at our Willow Run Golf Club benefiting the 30+ charitable and civic organizations that we support. One of the programs that we invest heavily in is Tom Osborn’s TeamMates Mentoring program. It is a school-based mentoring program that we have over 70 Mentor/Mentee relationships in several of the elementary schools here in Sioux Falls. For the last two years I have mentored a young boy named Corbin on a weekly basis for about an hour – it is one of the best hours of my week! After each session, I come out with big smile because it makes my day. It isn’t anything stressful, you just have to be there consistently and be supportive of that child. You never know what impact a kind word of encouragement or gratitude may make, not only a child’s life, but in everyone you meet. I am sure if you look back on your life, there has been a caring adult or two that informally gave you good advice or words of encouragement.

We are looking for several more caring adults to become TeamMates Mentors for the new school year starting this Fall. Our vision is to “Inspire students to develop their full potential and realize a successful and meaningful life through mentoring”. If interested, to learn more about TeamMates Mentoring of Sioux Falls or become a TeamMates Mentor, you can go to or contact our Executive Director Brianna at, I will guarantee you’ll enjoy it!

Hope you are enjoying your summer and thanks for being a GreatLIFE Member! Also, enjoy the video.

Tom Sr


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