Deadwood distributes $17.7K in parking funds to 16 non-profits

At $5,045, Feeding Deadwood was the largest Holiday Parking promotion recipient and officials plan to use the money to continue buying groceries locally to provide Friday grocery bags for families in need. Here, volunteers work the line, on Friday’s Feeding South Dakota monthly distribution, as part of Feeding Deadwood. Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson

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DEADWOOD — Christmas comes but twice a year in Deadwood, as the city commission approved distributions Feb. 16 to non-profit organizations from $17,795 collected during the city’s second annual Holiday Parking Donation promotion.

“I would like to thank everyone for their involvement, not just city staff, but the visitors and employees of Deadwood, just to thank them for their contributions knowing that this money was going to charities in the Deadwood area, specifically those that impacted our community,” said Deadwood Mayor David Ruth, Jr. “So we thank you guys for pitching in and it’s nice to be able to do this. Hopefully, we can continue this as we move forward.”

A partnership between the city and the chamber of commerce, any funds collected by accidental payment to the meters or by donation during free metered parking in Deadwood from roughly Thanksgiving through Christmas Day were earmarked for local charities.

All parking spots outside the parking ramp that require payment were free of charge, but drivers could choose to donate any amount into the meters or kiosks and the funds will all go to local charities. The $5 fee for parking in the Broadway Parking Garage was still charged and was also included as part of the charity promotion.

To be considered for funding, non-profits were asked to submit a one-page request letter to the city of Deadwood.

A total of $18,809 was collected during the promotion, less advertising and sign expenses of $1,014, for net donations of $17,795: $15,380 from the Broadway Parking Garage; $1,790 from parking meters; $1,639 from parking kiosks.

“This was about $4,000 more than last year’s. Very well-received, very good program. We really appreciate it,” said Deadwood Finance Officer Jessicca McKeown.

As announced by Ruth, the following 16 organizations will receive 2020 holiday parking donation funds: Black Hills Auxiliary Post 5969, $1,000; Deadwood History, $1,000; Digger Track and Field Team, $500; Deadwood Lead Swim Team, $1,000; Feeding Deadwood, $5,045; Lead-Deadwood Clothe-A-Kid, $1,000; Lead-Deadwood High School (LDHS) Class of 2024, $500; Lead-Deadwood Lions Club, $1,000; LDHS Post Prom Committee/LDHS Class of ’22, $500; Lead-Deadwood Youth Football & Cheer Team, $500; Northern Hills Alliance for Children, $1,500; PEO, $500; South Dakota Kids Belong, $500; Twin City Animal Shelter, $750; Twin City Clothing Center, $1,000; Twin City Senior Center, $1,500.

Kerry Ruth, who volunteers to spearhead Feeding Deadwood, along with Lori Keehn-Moore, said the program distributes a weekly grocery bag every Friday and currently serves anywhere from 25 to 50 households each week, while the Feeding South Dakota truck comes to Deadwood once a month for a Friday distribution to these households.

“We provide items such as bread, milk, eggs, peanut butter, and jelly. All of our groceries area purchased locally with money that has been donated by people and organizations in our community. Feeding Deadwood is an all-volunteer operation and every dollar that we receive goes to purchasing food,” Ruth said. “We are grateful for the generous donation from the city of Deadwood. This money will help us provide groceries to families in our community for months to come.”

In 2019, just over $13,000 from the holiday parking fund promotion was collected and later donated in 2020 to more than 18 local non-profits: a total of $10,785 was collected from the Broadway Parking Garage; $1,017.58 was collected from parking meters; and $1,381 was collected from parking kiosks, for a grand total of $13,183.58.

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