SDSU dance team to host dart tournament fundraiser

Aiden Swift, Reporter

The South Dakota State University Dance Team will host its second annual dart tournament Saturday at the Rush Bar and Grille in Sioux Falls, and the top three winners will get cash prizes.

Along with the dart tournament, there will be a silent auction with the chance to buy items provided by the dancers and their sponsors. Items on the auction include a signed Brett Favre football jersey, a signed Chris Carter helmet, an SDSU game-day basket, a TV and much more. 

Registration begins at 10 a.m., one hour before the start of the tournament, and costs $15. The money earned on the day will be split between the dance team and the bar, with $10 going to the team and $5 to the bar. If you aren’t looking to throw darts and just want to support the team, 10% of the revenue from food and drinks during the event will be donated to the team as well.

“A dart tournament is a different experience,” Kennedy Knuth, a junior and team captain for the dance team, said in explaining the fundraiser’s format. “Darts is something you don’t need a lot of experience to enjoy, and it is something people of all ages can take part in.”

Knuth has been playing darts since she was 8 years old because of her dad, who is a dart league coordinator for a Sioux Falls junior dart league. Knuth is hopeful for an even better turnout this year and is hoping to surpass last year’s number of 30 participants.

“There are so many charity golf tournaments and such,” said Ashton Swift, a junior and team captain for the team. “There aren’t a lot of dart tournaments, so I think it makes it unique.” 

Swift is a first-year captain and is hoping the team can raise about $5,000 for expenses. SDSU dance team members pay all their own expenses and receive no money from the school. The team relies on fundraisers to pay for uniforms, travel, choreographers, practice space and the trip to nationals. After placing second at nationals last year, the team is looking forward to going back and getting another shot at the title. 

But it all starts with raising money, and Stephanie Grey, the owner of the Rush Bar and Grille,  was willing to host. 

“We love to help people out,” Grey said. “… When the team came to me and said that they are funded by themselves, I immediately wanted to know how we could help.”

Grey and her husband Alan have been owners of the bar and grill since 2012, and they have been supporters of the team for the past three years because of their connection with Knuth’s family. They have helped put on the past two dart tournaments. 

When asked about how much work goes into putting everything together for this weekend’s event, Grey said, “The dancers are the ones mainly in charge of it all. We just do our best to make sure we are pushing the information out there on the marketing side of things, but the dancers and parents are the ones making sure everything comes together.”