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Sioux Empire Volunteer of the Month for August 2020

L to R: Becky Sluiter, LifeScape; Katie Schoon, September
Volunteer of the Month; Susie Ryks, Helpline Center;

The Helpline Center congratulates Katie Schoon on being named the September 2020 Volunteer of the Month, an area-wide award program sponsored by the Helpline Center.

Katie is a long-time volunteer friend to LifeScape and directly impacts LifeScape’s mission on a weekly basis. Katie has volunteered with LifeScape since 2012 with over 1,500+ volunteer hours. Katie continues to add additional special volunteer days according to student’s needs and LifeScape’s needs. Katie volunteers every Monday and Wednesday throughout the year, as LifeScape’s Specialty School goes year-round. Katie offers to help out with special events or fundraiser events for LifeScape, as she is available.

Katie began her volunteer journey within LifeScape’s dorms, with children with disabilities, ages 5-21yrs. Katie then requested to assist within LifeScape’s Specialty School to fit her time needs and to be able to continue to inspire students with disabilities. Katie has been instrumental within LifeScape’s Specialty School in Class I’s PE Swim classes helping students who use wheelchairs for mobility. During swim class, Katie provides one-on-one support to a student to be able to swim and/or float freely. After swim class, Katie quickly gets herself changed and then heads up to the classroom to help students with learning, reading, communication, and social goals. Katie knows each student and what specific skill sets they are working on. Katie enthusiastically encourages students to work towards goals as well as slips in fun conversations and laughter.

LifeScape staff commented, “Katie volunteers weekly at LifeScape, works and is very active in her church. Katie balances her life and always thinks of others before herself. Katie is instrumental in helping children with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives by being a positive mentor. Katie is always seen with a smile on her face, a listening ear, and ready to include everyone. Katie is a hard worker, takes time to get to know students with disabilities for their individual likes and dislikes, is responsible, timely, easy going, fun-loving, and truly wants to make a difference in people’s lives. Katie is an all-star volunteer every month of the year! Katie is truly deserving of this recognition.”

The Helpline Center is pleased to present Katie with a framed certificate and a letter of appreciation from Mayor Paul TenHaken.

For information on volunteer opportunities please call the Helpline Center at 211 or visit

2020-2021 Volunteers of the Month

June 2020, Masako Gould, The Outdoor Campus
July 2020, Pat Flittie, Senior Companions
August 2020, Jean Mescher & Diana Anderson, Dougherty Hospice House
September 2020, Katie Schoon, LifeScape

2019-2020 Volunteers of the Month

June 2019, Brook Geiken, Butterfly House & Aquarium
July 2019, Travis Jensen, LifeScape
August 2019, Wendy LaVergne, Workers on Wheels
September 2019, Dean Mertz, Good Earth State Park
October 2019, Jon Youngberg, Senior Companions
November 2019, Ron Mattice, The Salvation Army
December 2019, Greg Woods, Toy Lending Library
January 2020, Deb Shissler, St. Francis House
February 2020, Jill Turbak, Make-A-Wish
March 2020, David Yendeh, Caminando Juntos
April 2020, Dawn Stomberg, Call to Freedom
May 2020, Natalie Harms, Children’s Inn 

2018-2019 Volunteers of the Month

June 2018, Linda and Lori Heberling, Lunch Is Served, Inc.
July 2018, Julie Schnaible, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls
August 2018, Priscilla Jorve, Good Earth State Park
September 2018, Loretta Hill, Senior Companions of SD
October 2018, Gary Pierson, Workers on Wheels
November 2018, Joan Olson, Avera@Home Hospice
December 2018, Veronica Madetzke, Independent Living Choices
January 2019, Jan Noah, Alpha Center
February 2019, Dawn Hieb, St. Francis House
March 2019, Carol Everetts, Sanford Health
April 2019, Sara Crosby, Washington Pavilion
May 2019, Daryl DuBois, The Salvation Army


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