Investing in Rural America Initiatives 2017

Founded in 1986, Rural America Initiatives has been serving at-risk children in Rapid City for over 30 years. Rural America Initiatives (RAI) provides educational programming – Head Start and Early Head Start for children pre-natal to 5 years old and their families, as well as Ateyapi, a mentoring program for elementary and middle school students. Overall, RAI serves over 1,200 children through these programs.

For the last 20 years, Head Start programs have been delivered in trailer and modular buildings that are now run-down and expensive to maintain. The Head Start program is located on the campus of Sioux San, and they have plans for a new hospital. This means that many of the buildings on their campus, including RAI’s Head Start building, must go. Rural America Initiatives has created a plan to build a new campus to replace all of their rented buildings, offices, and meeting areas throughout Rapid City.

Land has been purchased north of town with funds acquired by meeting the Shakopee Challenge in December 2014. There is now a $6.2 million capital campaign to build a new campus on that land. About half of the money needed has been raised, thanks to a$50,000 contribution from Black Hills Community Bank and a $2 million Vision Fund grant from Rapid City.

Our President, Jack Lynass, is excited to take part in the capital campaign. He says, “As a local bank, we make it a priority to support non-profits in the area. We have many employees that volunteer for Rural America Initiatives throughout the year and are overjoyed to have the opportunity to partner with them to bring an excellent new facility to town.”

“The gift from Black Hills Community Bank will go a long way to helping us reach our goal.”, says RAI Development Coordinator, Deborah Gangloff. “Not only does the money help us, but the public affirmation of the bank’s support for this project increases our credibility in the community, and may inspire others to support us as well.”

If you are interested in donating, please visit or send a check to Rural America Initiatives, 628 1/2 6TH Street, Suite 201, Rapid City, SD 57701.