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Local couple honored as Abbott House champions

As a place of hope, recovery and a second chance, the Abbott House had a mission that fit right in with how Tom and Charlys Dice felt. So for the past 15 years, the couple has donated time, energy and money to the Abbott House -- a place that off...

Keith and Glynn Bartels shake hands with Eric Klooz, Abbott House director, during the annual Abbott House Healing Society Celebration Friday afternoon. The Bartels were given the 2017 Abbott House Children's Community Chamption Award. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)
Keith and Glynn Bartels shake hands with Eric Klooz, Abbott House director, during the annual Abbott House Healing Society Celebration Friday afternoon. The Bartels were given the 2017 Abbott House Children's Community Chamption Award. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)

As a place of hope, recovery and a second chance, the Abbott House had a mission that fit right in with how Tom and Charlys Dice felt.

So for the past 15 years, the couple has donated time, energy and money to the Abbott House - a place that offers services for girls between the ages of 7 and 17. The Abbott House was established in 1939 and is an all-girl facility that provides a second chance for girls who have suffered abuse and neglect. This year, the Abbott House has 75 children in its care.

For the Tom and Charlys Dice's commitment, they were given the 2017 Abbott House Children's Champion Award.

"We've known the Abbott House for years and years and we believe in their mission," Charlys said, following the annual Abbott House Healing Society Celebration Friday afternoon at the County Fair Banquet Hall in Mitchell.

Both longtime residents of Mitchell, Tom and Charlys have been actively involved in the house's capital campaign to build an addition. Tom also led the effort to build two Bridges by Abbott House Therapeutic Foster Homes that provide homes and families for 12 children in Mitchell.

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"This couple understands what that is all about," said Tim Smith, emcee for the afternoon, referring to their longtime efforts and commitment.

Tom was unable to attend the event, but Charlys gladly accepted the award on their behalf. And when asked about the honor, Charlys remained humble.

"There's many, many worthy people," Charlys said. "But we're very pleased they chose us for this ... They're a great organization."

Charlys added the she and her husband will continue to support the Abbott House for years to come.

Additional award recipients

The Abbott House also chooses a winner each year of the Children's Community Champion Award. The honor, which is given to a person or organization who avidly supports the house and also strongly supports other causes aimed at helping the less fortunate, was awarded to Keith and Glynn Bartels.

The couple has been supporting the Abbott House for more than 20 years, working "behind the scenes" to make dreams come true, Smith said to the large crowd gathered for the event.

In addition to the Abbott House, the Bartels have created a scholarship at Mitchell Technical Institute, and supported area organizations such as the Oscar Howe and Dakota Discovery Museums, Wesley Acres Board of Directors and the First Lutheran Church - to name a few.

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"Glynn and I have been very fortunate in our lives to have good education, good jobs and most importantly, good families," Keith said. "We've had all those advantages. To see some of those young ladies that have none of those advantages, how can you see that and not want to help?"

Two Children's Excellence Awards were also awarded. The first to Joe Graves, the superintendent of Mitchell School District, and the second to Lana Anderson, a 38-year employee of the Abbott House.

The group also makes special recognitions to supporters and volunteers. This year, the group recognized Wayne and Janet Klinger for their support of more than 20 years to the Abbott House.

Charlys Dice accepts the 2017 Abbott House Children's Champion Award Friday afternoon while emcee Tim Smith holds the microphone at the County Fair Banquet Hall during the annual Abbott House Healing Society Celebration. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)
Charlys Dice accepts the 2017 Abbott House Children's Champion Award Friday afternoon while emcee Tim Smith holds the microphone at the County Fair Banquet Hall during the annual Abbott House Healing Society Celebration. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)

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