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Ranchers and meat processors from across South Dakota donate to the Black Hills Meat Fest that is held by the Naja Shriner’s to raise money for kids and families to attend summer camps in the Black Hills. (Photo Black Hills Meat Fest)

Black Hills Meat Fest raises money for camps for kids

STURGIS, S.D. – Imagine winning meat bundles and premium artisan cheese and cooking items, while helping support a worthy cause at the same time .

The Black Hills Meat Fest, now in its fifth year and set for Saturday, June 8, 2024 at the Sturgis Brewing Company, raises money for the Naja Shriner’s Children Camp Program.  Camps sponsored by Shriners are free for former and current patients of Shriners Hospitals for Children and staffed by volunteers, recreational therapy and child life specialists as well as other hospital staff members.

All proceeds raised from the Black Hills Meat Fest is used for kids in the West River area, where Shriners help about 600 families annually, according to Diana Holloway, a volunteer and wife of a Shriner.

“The kids camp program was begun by women and spearheaded by Julie Hansen,” she shared.  “We’re determined to make this an event that ensures kids can go to camps in the Black Hills.”

Wheel of FortuneIf you haven’t experienced the Black Hills Meat Fest, here’s how it works, explains Holloway.

“If you’ve not been to Meat Fest before, our big spinning wheels, a 30-spot wheel, has numbers that you can purchase tickets for. After you spin, if it lands on your number, you win. Smaller wheels with 10 spots are also in play with the same concept applying. What tickets you purchase determine what product is being offered on any particular wheel. It’s a fun, fun, fun time.”

There is literally over a ton of meat donated by ranchers and processors across the state and includes beef, pork and lamb roasts, chops, steaks, burger, ribs and more as well as whole Hutterite turkeys and chickens. The famous Dimock cheese is also in the lineup and processed meats like beef sticks, brauts, and hotdogs are a favorite. Play ticket prices range from $1 to $5 and there are a number of wheels to spin to win.

The games begin at 2:00 p.m. at Sturgis Brewing Company in Sturgis, S.D.  According to Holloway, there is enough meat to keep the games going for hours. There are kid’s games with prizes and best of all, free admission to the annual event that will run to approximately 4:00p.m.

“Sometimes we have coolers full of cooking items.  We’re also raffle off items like a flat top grill and a prime rib roast.  It’s a lot of fun and high energy. There’s something going on every second. “

It’s all for the kids, and Shriner’s take care of kids, says Holloway.

“Kids with curvature of the spine or burns or orthopedic needs are treated at Shriner’s hospitals. Shriners also advocate for and provide treatment to kids with sports injuries, torn ligaments, and broken bones. We want them to get the best treatment they can get.”

For lots of kids and families, a camping excursion is a welcome retreat.

“We have two different camps,” explains Holloway. “One is a day camp located near Hot Springs, S.D., and the other is an overnight camp near Keystone, S.D. Kids and family enjoy getting out on the lake, hiking through beautiful Black Hills scenery, swimming, canoeing and fishing. Fish, fish and fish – they love it. They also enjoy movies under the stars.  We do a lot of fun camping things.”

She adds, “It’s an opportunity for kids to interact with other kids and for parents to network and visit with other parents who are all going through similar circumstances in many ways.”

Holloway points out that the Shriners are all volunteers and that 100% of the proceeds from Black Hills Meat Fest goes towards kids being able to attend camp programs.  She encourages people to check out the Black Hills Meat Fest on Facebook.

“It’s sometimes hard to get the concept,” says Holloway. “But when you get there, it only takes a few minutes to catch on.  If you can get good product and help a charity at the same time – it’s a win/win.”




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