Blue Star Event Honors South Dakota Military

The first annual “Blue Star Military Appreciation Event” at Active Generations in Sioux Falls was filled with free food, fun and fellowship. “Blue Star” is the title given to active military families, and Globe University played a large part in this special day of thanks. The event planning began in early June with a small committee who had an idea to show appreciation to all the families who have had someone on active duty or who recently return.

Globe University’s massage program pampered families by providing free chair massages.

Globe University Massage Therapy students pamper military families

 Other Globe students offered face painting, read books to kids and offered family portraits.  Also, each family was given a gift bag. Inside were inspirational stories written by Globe University students in Early Fall Quarter’s Composition class. 

Kristina Reilly and Sheila Miller volunteered at the "Blue Star" event

 Families registered for great prizes including a Sioux Falls weekend get away, a kids bike, zoo membership and great gift cards.

“Active Generations was excited to be able to show our appreciation to Active Duty Families by hosting this event,” exclaimed Lisa Howard, Active Generations. “It was so fun to see families enjoying the day and spending a relaxing and fun time together as a family!  We thank them for their on-going sacrifices as their loved ones protect our country!”

Cory Briest and his wife Jenny attend the Blue Star Event in Sioux Falls

Attending the event was Cory Briest and his family. The Yankton, South Dakota National Guard soldier was severely injured by a roadside bomb five years ago in Iraq. His story was picked up by Yankton native, Tom Brokaw which led Briest to appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show. His wife, Jenny gave a speech to the crowd.

“ It was especially rewarding to see the children at the event. They were filled with excitement,” said Shelley Hanisch, Director of Development at Active Generations.  “The zoo animals were a big hit. The families really seemed to be enjoying themselves and appreciated being recognized for their service.”

And Active Generations thanks Globe University for the day’s success.

“Thanks for ALL your help – Your Globe reps were awesome,” said Howard.   “People loved the massages and I know appreciated the family portraits.”

“They turned out great,” said military mom, Jillian Lemons about the ‘Portraits for Patriots.’ “It’s our first time doing a family picture, if you can believe that! We just never seem to make the time to do it. Seeing this, definitely makes me smile and I’m very thankful for all that went in to making that event so much fun for everyone.”

Look at all the pictures from the Blue Star event here.

Newspaper coverage of event


KDLT TV event coverage