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Huron’s Larry Brink, Laurie Smith receive Rural Dakota Pride award

Posted: Friday, Sep 6th, 2013

Rural Dakota Pride Award recipient Laurie Smith, center, is shown with Doug Sombke, S.D. Farmers Union president; and Karla Hofhenke, S.D. Farmers Union executive director, following the award presentation at the South Dakota State Fair Aug. 31. Shown in the next photo is Larry Brink. PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED

Huron’s Larry Brink and Laurie Smith are both recipients of this year’s Rural Dakota Pride Award from the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation.

The award is given annually to South Dakotans who are actively involved in their communities, are tireless volunteers, and display a large amount of pride in bettering their communities. A ceremony honoring this year’s award recipients was held Aug. 31 during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.

“Laurie Smith believes we have to teach our children the importance of service in our communities,” said SDFU Foundation President Doug Sombke. “She involves her family every chance she gets as she makes a difference in the Huron area.”

Smith is involved in Make-A-Wish South Dakota as a wish granter. She also helps with fundraising for the organization and helped raise over $15,000 during the Wild, Wild Wish event. She’s also active in Mitchell’s Summer’s Last Dance event and Hot Harley Nights in Sioux Falls which raise funds for Make-A-Wish. Smith also serves as the chairwoman of Coats for Kids in Huron and is on the Huron Little League board of directors. She is also active in the Huron Christian Church and James Valley Christian School and serves as a volunteer for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

“Larry is described by his friends as a man full of kindness with a big heart who is always willing to help anyone in any way possible,” Sombke said. “We’re honored to present him with this award for his lifetime of service to others.”

Brink has served on the Huron Christian Church board as an elder and many times has called upon those in the hospital, nursing homes and homebound people throughout the community. He’s a board member for Diamond Willow Ministries in Ft. Thompson and takes trailer loads of hay bales for horses involved in the ministry. He also takes clothes and household items to residents in the Ft. Thompson area. Larry worked as the superintendent for many years at Dakota Energy Electric Cooperative. Brink was unable to attend the ceremony. His children accepted the award on his behalf.

“People like Larry and Laurie are what make South Dakota such a great place to live,” Sombke said. “They make their community stronger each and every day and serve others selflessly. We’re honored to give them this small token of appreciation for all they’ve done for our state and this community.”

Other recipients of this year’s Rural Dakota Pride Award are Jerry Martin of Meadow, Tom and Barb Paepke of Groton, and Rep. Dean Schrempp of Lantry.

For the complete article see the 09-05-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 09-05-2013 paper.

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