At the conclusion of a recent Christmas concert, Sioux Falls Lutheran School announced a large gift through Sanford Health that will profoundly accelerate the process of building a new school.

Fourth through eighth grade students had just performed George Frederick Handel’s Messiah on Friday night at Memorial Lutheran Church. The location of the concert is significant because the current location of Sioux Falls Lutheran School doesn’t have the space available to host such an event in their gymnasium. Thus the need for one of the school’s association churches to provide a suitable venue.

Before the closing prayer, Administrator Tia Esser lavished praise on students and staff for their efforts to make the performance possible. Attention then turned to School Board Chair Scott Peters for an update on the Our Greatest Gifts capital campaign which launched in November 2016.

Spatial concerns have been evident at the school’s current location for a number of years and just shy of $3 million has been gathered in the first year of the three-year campaign. With the funding in place, a voter’s assembly on November 12 cleared the way for looking at potential parcels of land.

Peters told the crowd that Sanford Health had agreed to donate 30 acres of land and a matching gift of up to $5 million dollars to build a new facility. In a press release that was available to concertgoers, Sanford President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft traced the history of the hospital to the Lutheran Church.

“This gift looks back to the heritage of Sioux Valley Hospital’s roots as a Lutheran hospital and forward to Sanford Health’s priority of supporting children and families in this community. We also wanted to support the tremendous effort of Sioux Falls Lutheran School donors in raising $2.6 million in the first year of the capital campaign.”

Going forward, the $5 million match will be on a 2 to 1 basis. With slightly more than two years remaining in the current campaign, Esser said this will add up fast.

“I am very grateful for and humbled by the magnitude of this gift, which will move the school forward from a facility that is both land-locked and bursting at the seams to one that will innovatively and exceptionally serve children, families and the community for generations to come.”

From a humble beginning as offering preschool-only education based out of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls Lutheran School has gained the respect of the community. Board Chair Peters also acknowledged the great blessing set before them.

“This gift, in support of our generous donors, will truly be a capstone to a preschool program that has been among The Local Best for 10 consecutive years and a kindergarten through 8th grade program that was recently named a National Lutheran School of Distinction.”

Along with Our Redeemer and Memorial, the other three churches that compose the Association that lend their support to the school are Lord of Life, Resurrection and Faith Lutheran Churches which are all part of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

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