A call came from a social worker at one of the Sioux Falls hospitals. There was a patient, he began. The man was diagnosed with cancer, needed a ventilator – and was homeless. The hospital couldn’t allow him to be on a ventilator and stay in his car.
Mary Lloyd-Huber, who focuses on the family business and philanthropy for Lloyd Companies, was on the other end of the conversation.
“We were able to call a hotel and work it out so he could stay using funds from our grant,” she said.
The grant she was able to help award is because of a nonprofit especially close to the family’s heart: The Feisty Fighters.
“My aunt founded it in 2005 and we formed the Feisty Fighters of South Dakota two years later. At that time, we were doing rummage sales and a bunch of little fundraisers,” she said.
That now takes the form of one, big annual event: Knickers Fore Knockers…And More, a golf tournament that will be held on May 11 at Willow Run Golf Course.
For the first time in its 13-year history, “we’re full,” Mary said. “Both morning and afternoon, so we have more than 200 golfers who will come out that day – hopefully in their knickers. So many businesses have stepped up to the plate.”
Having a full golf tournament, from participants to volunteers, is a blessing, she added.
Last year’s event was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, businesses and individuals continued to support the Feisty Fighters.
Since last May, the Feisty Fighters have given out 172 grants equivalent to $71,000. Since 2016, when grants began, they have awarded approximately $240,000 to those fighting cancer.
“The grants are always a cash grant, with a max of $500. To be eligible, you have to live in South Dakota or within 100 miles of Sioux Falls, meet financial requirements and have a letter from a medical professional verifying the diagnosis,” Mary said.
Most referrals come through nurse navigators or social workers at the hospitals, who witness the need firsthand and can make the connection.
“We got a call about a young boy asking if we could help his family out as soon as possible because they couldn’t afford propane to heat their house. The little boy had cancer and they were all in one room because they couldn’t heat the house,” Mary said. “I called the propane company and we were able to provide funds to them.”
These funds help cover many things, large and small, that challenge cancer patients and families and bring ease of mind during unsettling times.
Donations are always appreciated – and once next week’s event is over, the planning will start for next year.
“Reach out, get ahold of us and we’d love to connect with you. We’re always looking for volunteers and anytime someone wants to donate is wonderful,” she said.