Residents from Touchmark at All Saints attended a speakeasy event on July 26th and supported students in the Sioux Falls School District. Staff filled the Waterford Dining Room with 1920s-themed decorations, and guests were encouraged to dress the part, wearing flapper dresses, beaded headbands, pearls, and scarves. To enter the event, Touchmark residents and their family and friends needed to know the “password,” which was either a monetary donation or a gift of school supplies. Guests enjoyed appetizers, a dinner buffet, and live music.
Throughout the evening, attendees donated notebooks, markers, colored pencils, crayons, glue sticks, loose leaf paper, folders, pencils, pens, Kleenex, disinfecting wipes, scissors, and other supplies. In addition, they raised more than $600. The Sioux Falls School District has a large transient population, and some students move five or six times each year. Through the Education Foundation’s Student Success Fund, social workers can provide students with new school supplies to ensure they are prepared for class (https://sfeducationfoundation.org/about/programs/).
Touchmark staff decided to host the speakeasy as a fundraiser for the Sioux Falls Public Schools because their facility was first an Episcopal girls’ school before becoming co-ed. Bishop William Hobart Hare laid the cornerstone of the building in September 1884, and the school was open until the early 1990s (thus operating during the Prohibition Era when speakeasys were common). In 1994, Touchmark purchased the building and it became Waterford at All Saints.
In addition to distributing items through the Student Success Fund, the Office of Indian Education will host an open house event on August 11th at the Instructional Planning Center. Parents can complete paperwork, pick up school supplies for their children, and learn about existing community resources. In August 2022, more than 300 people attended this event.