MARTA (Milbank Area Retired Teachers-Personnel Association) met to “Celebrate Milbank.” Highlights of the gathering included the grants MARTA recently acquired and the resulting projects they spearheaded to enhance the outdoor areas of Milbank.
Special guests at the meeting included: Erik Gaikowski, South Dakota’s AARP Director, John Forman, Administrator for the City of Milbank, and Mindy Rogers, a member of the Milbank City Council. Kathy Ward of The Valley Express and Charlezton Ward were also guests. Later during the meeting, Forman and Rogers presented information about projects in Milbank that are now in the planning stage. Rhonda Preller, president of MARTA, explained how MARTA had received an AARP Community Grant for $14,000. That grant money coupled with the remaining funds from the Healthy Hometown Grant and the South Dakota Walking College Grant, helped MARTA to make a donation of $16,650 to the Heart of Milbank fund.
Preller has been working closely with Forman and Dan Keyes, the Unity Health and Fitness Director, to select the improvements for Milbank’s parks. Bike racks for four local parks were set in place, and two benches were delivered to the west entrance of Flynn Nature Trail in October. Two water fountains have arrived, but will not be installed until spring. One of the fountains is earmarked for Flynn Park, and the other will be positioned at Pribyl Park near the new playground. Preller says, “Two new pieces of playground equipment are delayed, but will be placed at Lake Farley Park near the lake and the new campground.”
MARTA is a local organization of teachers and school personnel who have devoted their lives to educating youth. In retirement, MARTA members continue to look for ways to make a positive impact on our area children and the community. MARTA welcomes new members.
Photo- Back row, left to right, John Forman; Milbank City Administrator, Mindy Rogers; City Council member, Carm Tobin, Rhonda Preller, Erik Gaikowski; SD AARP director, Donna Larson, Ruth Ann Settje, Nancy Bloem, Vangie Heupel and Shirley Schmidt. Front row, David Preller, Sandy Schell, Cindy Jungers, Linda Comstock, Mary Lou Bullert, Barb Thompson and Jane Popowski.