A Healthier Custer Wins Innovative Rural Community Prize

Posted on November 4, 2019

Carey Grosdidier
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Renner, SD–The Custer Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC) was recently named the Innovative Rural Community Prize, and was awarded by Dakota Resources during the 2019 Empower Sessions Event and Gala on October 19 in Spearfish.

The Custer community achieved the competitive prize for their continuing efforts to create a healthier hometown, which is an initiative created by the CAEDC’s Health and Wellness Team. The team includes 97 people working together on different health, nutrition and fitness goals, championed by community volunteer Colleen Hennessy. The CAEDC will receive $5,000 in community coaching credit from Dakota Resources, the rural community and economic development organization sponsoring the event.

Pictured left to right: Joan Sacrison, Colleen Hennessy, Jared Hybertson, Liliya Stone, Kristi Wagner

Other finalists for the award included Deuel Area Development, Inc. and the Wall Economic Development Corporation.

The winning community was announced at the Empower Sessions Gala, an annual celebration recognizing rural leaders, innovative rural communities, rural entrepreneurs, economic development professionals and community mentors. The Gala capped off two days of Dakota Resources Empower Sessions, which brought rural shapers together from across the region to experience valuable learning workshops, guest speakers, social networking, entrepreneurial success stories and more.

Pictured: Colleen Hennessy

“At Dakota Resources, our goal is not just to empower rural leaders and help rural communities thrive, but to celebrate the people and communities who are actively making a difference every single day. We congratulate the Custer Area Development Corporation on helping create a healthier, more vibrant community,” says Paula Jensen, Vice President of Advancement of Dakota Resources.

Many of the communities represented at the event were part of the Dakota Resources Learning Network, which brings rural leaders together in-person and virtually on a regular basis to learn and discuss topic such as housing, entrepreneurship, business and economic development and leadership development.

For more information about Dakota Resources or how to join the Dakota Resources Community Learning Network, visit www.dakotaresources.org.

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