Happy Wednesday! Megan here.

Weather check: Maybe a little more rain before a warm weekend

πŸ‘€ A new thing: Did you catch my email on Monday? (There's a chance it went to your 'promotions folder' – if that's been a problem for you, be sure to add us to your contact list or whitelist us in your inbox).

  • Anyway, we're doing a new thing called "A Little Help." It's a month-long fundraiser for Journey of Hope. You'll learn a lot more about them in this issue – and all month long. Our goal is to help them raise $5,000 to support their mission to inspire hope through small actions. When you donate, mention in the note that Sioux Falls Simplified sent ya:

This week, I've got Tuesday's election results, as well as a closer look at Journey of Hope, catch up on Super Simplified Stories and find our roundup of events for the week.

And now, news:


How deodorant and clean socks can inspire hope

Editor's note: This story is part of Sioux Falls Simplified's "A Little Help" give-back effort. We're sharing stories all month long about Journey of Hope with the goal of raising $5,000 to support the ongoing operations of this local nonprofit. You can learn more here and donate here.

Simplified: Kari and Darin Palmer know firsthand something as simple as a bottle of shampoo, a clean pair of socks or a tube of deodorant can make a person feel seen when they're in a tough spot. That's why they started Journey of Hope – a nonprofit that's meeting people where they are to provide encouragement along life's journey.

Tell me more

The couple founded the nonprofit in 2020, following the death of their 26-year-old son, Sven Godwin.

  • Godwin died of an alcohol overdose. In his journey of depression and addiction, his parents saw the challenges he faced – including those as basic as needing a clean pair of socks and other hygiene items.

It was those needs that inspired the Palmers to start Journey of Hope as a way to make sure others in a similar situation would feel at least some small encouragement knowing people cared enough to help them meet basic hygiene needs.

"Initially it was kind of this emotional, 'I have to do this. I have to provide for people. I have to let them know there is hope on their journey,'" Kari Palmer said.

At the start, the nonprofit focused on serving people who were facing addiction, were unhoused or were coming out of incarceration. That mission continues to expand as the broader hygiene needs of the community become more apparent.

  • Additionally, they're bringing healing through the arts via partnerships with the Juvenile Detention Center and the Glory House.

Last year, Journey of Hope distributed 18,000 hygiene products and partnered with 33 agencies in Sioux Falls – including 11 schools.

  • Kits are distributed in a blue drawstring bag, an homage to the bag Godwin used to carry around.

Why hygiene products? And how can I help?

Learn more about the nonprofit, who it's serving and how you can help. Or, you can go ahead and show your support right here:

Make sure to mention Sioux Falls Simplified's "A Little Help" campaign in the notes section of the donate page so they know we sent ya.


Here's how the primary election shook out

Simplified: The 2025 South Dakota Legislature makeup is looking a bit clearer after Tuesday's primary election. Meanwhile, statewide voter turnout was less than 20%, and turnout in Lincoln County was just under than 12%. Minnehaha County didn't crack 10% turnout.

person holding blue and white UNK pin back button
Photo by Jennifer Burk / Unsplash

A quick note: Several Republican races in the state are uncontested, meaning the primary winners will head to Pierre in January. Because there weren't enough democratic or third-party candidates in the Sioux Falls area to warrant any primary races, know that all of the candidates listed below are part of the Republican party unless otherwise noted.

Here's a look at the results for races in the Sioux Falls area


Super Simplified Stories

  • Municipal band announces schedule. The Sioux Falls Municipal Band is kicking off its summer concert season this week, with a total of 16 shows throughout the summer. The band has been performing since 1919 – one of the longest-running city bands in the midwest. Find a full schedule of concerts here.
  • Find free summer meals. Free summer meals are available for kids 0-18 all summer long through the Sioux Falls School District. You can find the details and times on the district website.
  • More downtown development on the way. The city this week is expected to announce plans to develop railyard land downtown. The developer and city leaders will brief media this morning at a press conference, and I'll bring you the deets in Friday's newsletter. (Or, if you can't wait that long, you can watch the livestream on the city's Facebook page at 10:30 a.m.)


Stuff to do: June 5-11

  • Celebrate diversity. The LSS Multi-Cultural Center is hosting the 27th Annual Festival of Cultures on Saturday at the Levitt. Stop by for food trucks, live music, performances, vendors and the brand new global village. Details here.
  • Celebrate pride. Sioux Falls Pride Festival kicks off Saturday with a parade at 10 a.m. running down 8th Street. This year, the festival is in a new location at Sioux Falls Stadium, with an after party at both Club David and DaDa Gastropub. Get all the details here.
  • Celebrate downtown. It's the first block party of the summer at 8th and Railroad Friday night. Find food trucks, vendors, live music and drinks. Catch the full lineup here.
  • Celebrate small towns. It's Harrisburg Days this weekend, and there are activities all weekend long, including a dunk tank, carnival, live music, a tractor pull, a pancake feed and a fishing derby. Doesn't get more "South Dakota in the summer" than that.
  • Celebrate the ocean. The Butterfly House and Aquarium is celebrating World Ocean Day on Saturday. Come for coloring sheets, animal talks and a scavenger hunt. Full details here.
  • Celebrate summer. Boys & Girls Club of the Sioux Empire is hosting a Kick Off to Summer Party for all ages on Thursday evening. Find food, face painting, inflatables and more at the Empower Campus on 8th Street. Details here.


What I'm falling for this week:


More Simplified Stories

This former teacher’s book club emphasizes learning at any age
Steve Hamersma may have retired from teaching, but he’s still finding ways to flex his muscles as an educator by leading a book club at Good Samaritan Society - Prairie Creek.
Splash pads, butterflies and teddy bear clinics: How to find fun at the zoo in June
The new splash pad is now open, the lion exhibit is almost ready to open, and there’s a range of events throughout the month of June sure to entertain all ages.
Where to find free summer fun in Sioux Falls
School’s out, and summer is in full swing. Here’s a roundup of fun things you can do in town without spending a dime.


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Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or otter pops to megan@sfsimplified.com.

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including Dakota Adventure Supply, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Panther Premier Print Solutions, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, and the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.