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Mitchell rallies to help tornado victims

Mitchell-based fundraisers and other efforts are springing up to help the Wessington Springs community in the aftermath of Wednesday's tornado.

Following are summaries of some of those efforts.

Downtown stores join forces

On Saturday, June 28, participating businesses in Mitchell will donate a percentage of the day's sales or make a monetary donation to the Wessington Springs Relief Fund.

"We can't imagine the overwhelming feelings of devastation that our neighbors in the Wessington Springs area must be feeling," said Cathy Weber, owner of The Little Red Hen in downtown Mitchell. "In this small way we can help them rebuild their homes and their lives."

Weber, along with Robin Weins, owner of Crazy About Cupcakes, also located in downtown Mitchell, is spearheading the event.

Keara Hohn, manager at locally owned stores Tickled Pink and Bliss Bridal, as well as a Mitchell Main Street & Beyond board member, said it's crucial to show support in a time of need.

"As a local business in a town surrounded by smaller communities, I feel that in times of tragedy it is important for us to band together and show our unity and support for all involved," Hohn said. "The smaller communities impacted by the tornado are our customers and friends, and it is our turn to give back to them."

Already more than 20 businesses have committed to donating to the cause. A full list of participating businesses will be available Monday on the MMS&B Facebook page and the website

The Wessington Springs Relief Fund has been established at American Bank and Trust, which has multiple locations in South Dakota.

Vern Eide collecting items

Vern Eide Ford and Vern Eide GM in Mitchell are collecting items for the victims of the Wessington Springs tornado, including all sizes of men's, women's and children's clothing; all size of shoes; and non-perishable food items.

Items may be dropped off at either Vern Eide of Mitchell location through 5 p.m. Monday. Donations will be delivered to Wessington Springs on Monday night.

Goldie's Trailer Sales is donating a trailer and hauling all the donations.

Benefit ride

A benefit ride for the tornado victims in Wessington Springs will be held Sunday.

All vehicles are welcome and should gather at The Longhorn Bar in Mitchell at 11 a.m., leaving at 11:30 a.m. All money from entry fees and what would have been spent on food and beverages will be given to Springs residents. Money and non-perishable food items are requested. For more information, call 630-1932.