Showdown Series fights hunger in South Dakota

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Sports fans can participate in the state’s biggest athletic rivalry by donating funds to feed hungry families in South Dakota.

Saturday’s football matchup between South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota is part of the South Dakota Corn Showdown Series, an athletic and academic competition among student athletes of both universities that also raises funds for hungry families.

Feeding South Dakota, the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, benefits from the series. First Bank & Trust has teamed up with the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council to collect donations for Feeding South Dakota. Leading up to the game, fans are encouraged to make donations at their local First Bank & Trust branches or online at bankeasy.com.

“Fishback Financial Corporation, through our 16 First Bank & Trust locations, is happy to serve as the collection point for donations to Feeding South Dakota as part of the USD-SDSU Showdown Series,” said David Waligoske, Fishback’s president and CEO.  “We have a lot of fun with the rivalry within our organization, having locations in each of the college towns and employing many graduates of both universities.  It’s nice to see the rivalry fuel donations to a great cause.”

USD leads SDSU 3-2 in the Showdown Series point standings following this fall’s volleyball, soccer and cross country match-ups. The series is in its third season and the 2014-15 winner will be announced at the conclusion of the school year.

“During the first two years of the Showdown Series, South Dakotans showed their generosity by donating enough money and food to provide tens of thousands of meals for those who are less fortunate,” said Mark Gross, president of the Corn Utilization Council. “As we enter the holiday season, this is a perfect time to step up once again to help those who are down on their luck.”

The Council will distribute Showdown Series rally towels to the first 5,000 fans on the east side of Coughlin Alumni Stadium to commemorate the event and serve as a reminder to help hungry families in South Dakota. Special video board messages from South Dakota State student athletes will emphasize the importance of the Showdown Series sportsmanship initiative.

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