Covid didn’t stop the Sandhills Area Foundation from conducting their annual fundraiser. The annual banquet was cancelled in October, so SAF shifted gears and launched a virtual auction, which was held December 1-11. “A virtual auction was relatively new to the area and a first for SAF. We were able to reach a much larger audience and attract many new donors through our online presence. Many donors have shared that the virtual auction was a fun way to shop for Christmas and support SAF. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank all donors, contributors and participants. The virtual auction was very successful and raised $22,000,” said Kimberly Johnson, Executive Director.

SAF had nearly 175 registered bidders, and Adam and Kelly Anderson, Rex Simmons, Jessica Coyle and Kim Epke were the top contributors.

The residents of Cherry County are very generous, so the auction offered a wide variety of items. The top auction items featured were a three night stay in the Black Hills and six rounds of golf donated by Dick and Lois Schneider; a three night stay in the Black Hills donated by Tom and Edith Schneider; 30 bales of 2020 grass hay and trucking donated by Hall and Hall/Heartland Country Real Estate and Stoner Trucking, a UTV Cake Feeder donated by Welder Manufacturing; Sandhills Beef and processing donated by Duane and Danita Kime, Danielski Farms and Valentine Locker; and a custom gun case with rifle, pistol, shotgun and ammo donated by Danielski Farms.

In October, the Foundation also conducted a closed bid auction for the Spike Box Ranch Hunt. Bruce Rastetter from Aiden Iowa bid $8,000 and won the hunt.

SAF relies heavily on the fundraiser, donations and annual memberships to meet the needs of Cherry County. Thanks to our generous supporters, we were able to award over $69,000 in scholarships and $40,000 in grants in 2020. If you are interested in becoming a member or making a donation, please contact Kimberly Johnson at