Media One Funski marks 25th year of 25 years of helping bbused women, children
January 24. 2014 9:18AM
What began as a cross-country ski race with just 30 participants has become the premiere outdoor winter event in eastern South Dakota and has raised more than $700,000 to help those in the community affected by domestic violence and child abuse and neglect.
Jan. 24 and 25 marks the 25th anniversary of Media One Funski – a community-wide fundraiser benefiting Children’s Inn in Sioux Falls. Founded in 1977, Children’s Inn is a private, non-profit organization that provides 24-hour free services to victims of family violence, elder abuse, child abuse, neglect or sexual assault.
It was a passion for the great outdoors, winter sports and helping others that sparked the very first Media One Funski in 1989.
“Once we became aware of the mission of Children’s Inn and of the great need for the support and services it provides, we knew – without a doubt – that’s where we wanted all proceeds to go,” says Greg Blomberg, Media One Funski founder and Media One Advertising/Marketing partner.
Unfortunately, a quarter of a century later, the need is still great.
“My office deals with thousands of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect every year,” says Aaron McGowan, Minnehaha County States Attorney. “Children’s Inn is a valuable and necessary resource in this community that provides critical services to our most vulnerable victims.”
Each year the event generates about $25,000 - $30,000. And to date, the event has raised more than $700,000 for Children’s Inn.
“We are so thankful. The money generated by Media One Funski is vital to the work we do,” says Staci Kropuenske, development coordinator for Children’s Inn. “Each year this money helps us continue our work of providing love, hope and safety to those seeking shelter from abuse or neglect.”
Thirty people raced in the first Media One Funski event, which was held at Riverview Farm along the Big Sioux River. Twenty-five years later, the winter-oriented competition takes place at Great Bear Recreation Park and draws participants from as far away as Colorado, Nebraska and Minnesota. It attracts hundreds of participants, thousands of attendants and now includes ten different competitions like zipfy sled races, snow sculpture, tube races, downhill skiing and snowboarding.
“When we started this thing, there were no outdoor winter competitions to speak of this side of the river. There still aren’t. This truly is a one-of-a-kind event for the region. And, it’s all for a good cause which makes it even better,” says Blomberg. Media One was honored for its efforts when it received the 2012 Spirit of Volunteerism Corporate Humanitarian Award for dedicating its staff time and talent to the event each year. At that time, the event had reached the half a million dollar mark for monies raised.
The 25th anniversary of Media One Funski comes during Media One’s 40th anniversary.
“This is a labor of love,” says Blomberg. “We couldn’t do it alone. And the growth we’ve seen over the past 25 years just proves this community’s love of the great outdoors and their commitment to an important cause.”
Visit funski.org or the Funski Facebook page to check out archived videos and highlight reels from the past 25 years. Local and regional musicians donated their talents to the videos, including Burlap Wolfking, Hometown Glow and more. Teams and individuals can also register for the event by visiting funski.org.