Tyson’s donation to help furnish, equip De Smet’s event, wellness center

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Farm Forum

Tyson Foods announced a $50,000 donation to the De Smet Community Foundation on Sept. 8.

The donation will be used by the foundation for the purchase of furnishings and equipment to the recently opened De Smet Event and Wellness Center.

Tyson Foods’ donation was in recognition of the pivotal role De Smet plays in the South Dakota beef industry, such as forming the Beef Bucks program in 1997. With Bob and Nancy Montross on hand, who both serve on the Beef Bucks board of directors, Tyson Foods Regional Manager Jack Crowl said De Smet’s strong support of the beef industry played a pivotal role in Tyson’s donation toward the event center.

“When Bob called us and asked if there were any grants for this community project, it went right to the top of the list,” Crowl said. “This check is really to say thank you to the De Smet community. There isn’t a better place than to put it into the community center.”

With Tyson Foods’ grant, the community foundation has already added 55 tables and over 400 chairs to the event center, which opened to the public in early June. The community foundation will continue to add furnishings for the center. According to Rita Anderson, the director of the De Smet Development Corporation, additional furnishings will improve functionality to the center as it markets itself as a venue to host conferences and meetings.

“(The Tyson Foods donation) has been a wonderful gift, that has allowed us to make the building more functional,” Anderson said.

Right now, the De Smet Event and Wellness Center boasts an exhibit hall and a stage for performances, to go along with a weight room and locker rooms in addition to meeting rooms. The event center also frames the newly constructed athletic complex with full-length windows, thereby allowing spectators to watch a football game and/or a track meet and be protected from the volatile weather common in the fall and spring months.

In addition to the donation from Tyson Foods to purchase furniture inside the event center, the community foundation received a $75,000 grant from John and Jean Fox, on behalf of the Monte Fox Memorial foundation, to spark the next phase of the Event and Wellness Center project in landscaping. The landscaping phase will include the construction of a new baseball diamond and a patio outside the Wellness Center, and is expected to be completed in 2016.