Dear GreatLIFE Members, Team Members & Support Team,
I look forward to St. Patrick’s Day even though I may not be back in Sioux Falls. In the past, St. Pat’s Day was always the start of spring for me and usually some golf happening at our courses. I can’t remember the last time we had so much snow! Hopefully the end of winter is in sight so stay warm.
For the last several years, my wife and I have been able to avoid a lot of the winters by escaping to our home down in Los Cabos. A little over 20 years ago, we started a children’s foundation called the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation (LCCF) whose mission is to “Provide medical, educational and humanitarian assistance to the children, their families and supportive organizations of Los Cabos”. At that time, there were no treatments of any kind for children with cancer throughout the Baja area which had the highest incidences of Pediatric Leukemia in all of Mexico. From my time with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of SD, I had ties with Avera McKennan and we were able to set up a program to treat these kids up here in Sioux Falls.
Today, we now have a 10 bed children’s cancer wing, we do 20 to 24 open heart surgeries, and support over 30 local programs in the Baja. We have not had to bring a child up for medical treatment for over 7 years. This past July, I was invited back on the LCCF BOD after retiring from it several years ago. The main reason for my rejoining the board is we are back focused on building a world class children’s medical campus here in Los Cabos. We have four sites that are being offered to LCCF and the one we chose will be donated to us. We have raised $8 million of the $12 million needed so far this year and hopefully the final balance before we return in April.
I tell you this as a thank you for being a GreatLIFE Member and your support of our mission in making a difference on people’s lives, especially the lives of children; not only in our communities, but wherever we are. I am a firm believer that when you have been blessed with much, you should do much!
In Sioux Falls and throughout South Dakota, we have helped bring TeamMates Mentoring to our communities for the past three years. The mission of TeamMates Mentoring of Sioux Falls is to “Inspire students to develop their full potential and realize a successful and meaningful life through mentoring”. It is one on one school based program that trains caring adults to meet with a student for up to one hour a week. Do you know one of the biggest factors in a young person future is the sense of hopefulness and TeamMates Mentees have over an 80% sense of hope for their future. In addition, over 98% graduate from high school with +64% doing better academically.
Please consider becoming a TeamMates Mentor, you can go to www.siouxfallsteammates.org to learn more. I have been a TeamMates Mentor for over three years and each session puts a big smile on my face and a sense of engagement for the rest of the week. You will really enjoy being a TeamMates Mentor – I guarantee it!
Thanks for being a GreatLIFE Member and have a great St. Pat’s Day! Hope you enjoy the TeamMates video.