Mayor’s Neighborhood Champion Award Recipients

The City of Sioux Falls recognizes the recipients of the 2016 Mayor’s Neighborhood Champion Awards. The awards were presented by Mayor Mike Huether at the Sixth Annual Mayor’s Neighborhood Summit.

Neighborhood Champion of the Year (past) is Bev Oliver, former Cathedral Historic Neighborhood co-leader. Over the past several years, Bev selflessly kept the Cathedral Historic Neighborhood active through her continual efforts to build on the sense of community in Cathedral. Her work included walking door-to-door introducing herself and explaining what the neighborhood watch was about to just being that smiling face as people walked down her street. Bev brought new ideas and concepts to the neighborhood such as neighborhood cleanups, lighting alleyways, and spearheading the sidewalk poetry project. Bev also organized, planned, and led the Cathedral monthly meetings for a number of years before turning their historic home over to their son and moving to another neighborhood.

Neighborhood Champion of the Year (present) is Rachael Meyerink, All Saints Neighborhood Association. Rachael tirelessly advocated for the All Saints Neighborhood canopy that was decimated by the historic ice storm. Thanks to Rachael’s leadership and collaboration, the All Saints Neighborhood Association recently completed their urban reforestation project, a program that added nearly 100 boulevard trees to the neighborhood’s urban canopy. Through generous donations from Touchmark at All Saints, the City of Sioux Falls Neighborhood Project Grant program, Nursery Wholesalers, Home Depot, and a host of volunteers, the neighborhood has forever been changed by Rachael’s commitment to the All Saints Neighborhood.

Neighborhood Landlord of the Year is Darrel Bartell, All Saints Neighborhood landlord. Darrel has been involved with the All Saints Neighborhood Association since its infancy back in 2012. He was one of the first landlords to get hands-on involved in projects and planning and is always ready to step up and help out a neighbor, offer his truck to haul stuff to the dump, or walk door-to-door and hang fliers promoting neighborhood projects. He also does a fantastic job maintaining his properties and reaching out to landlords who need assistance maintaining their rental properties. He works hard to keep the association on task and isn’t afraid to ask hard questions when needed.

Neighborhood Business of the Year is St. John American Lutheran Church. St. John American Lutheran Church, under the leadership of Pastor Paul Matchan and JoAnn Wagner, initiated the idea of a neighborhood watch for the Garfield Neighborhood approximately eight years ago. They have provided, at no cost, a facility for the Garfield Neighborhood Association, office staff print off 500 meeting fliers every other month, and they also include meeting reminders on the marquee sign in front of the church. The church and its members are also instrumental through their continual outreach to neighbors by hosting a picnic/car show each summer. All food and beverage is provided by the church and served at no charge to the neighbors. During the Garfield Neighborhood cleanup campaign, church leaders and members walked with neighbors to pick up trash in the boulevards and streets to dispose of in the dumpster while allowing the association to use their parking lot for logistics. The St. John American Lutheran Church has been instrumental with the development and continual efforts of the Garfield Neighborhood Association.