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September 08, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa— With the help of dozens of field goals and thousands of 3-point baskets since 2010, the South Dakota State Jackrabbits have generated nearly $85,000 to support area health projects in partnership with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield through the company’s 3-Point Play program.

As part of the program, Wellmark contributes $300 for every field goal during the Jackrabbits’ football season and $20 for each 3-pointer throughout the men’s and women’s basketball seasons to advance unfunded or underfunded wellness initiatives.

Throughout the past six years, those donations — averaging just under $14,000 annually — were allocated to the city of Brookings to improve various public facilities and provide members of the community new opportunities to pursue a healthier lifestyle.

“The donations received from Wellmark have been invaluable in allowing our department to create community through people, parks and programs,”said Dan Brettschneider, director, Brookings Parks, Recreation and Forestry. “The projects completed have given thousands of people the opportunity to improve individual health and well-being, leading to a healthier Brookings as a community.”

The city also benefited from improvements to their cross country skiing trail, accessible community garden beds, additions to recreational equipment available for rent to community members and the creation of Pump Park in Dakota Nature Park.

Expansion planned for 2016-17 season

Beginning this year, fans now have the opportunity to help determine the South Dakota community who benefits from the proceeds generated by Jackrabbit “3s.” From now until the conclusion of the men’s basketball season in early 2017, fans can text “SDSU” to 97063 or visit External Site to nominate their South Dakota hometown for a chance to win. The change comes as Wellmark and South Dakota State University look to spread the benefit of the program’s trail, park and playground funding to additional communities throughout the state.

“After six years of helping South Dakotans eat right, move more, and feel better, in partnership with Brookings Parks, Recreation & Forestry, we’re excited to expand the program as part of our vision to develop more healthy hometowns,” said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark sponsorship manager. “This sponsorship continues to do great things for the state, and we’re looking forward to another successful season cheering on the Jackrabbits.”

To learn more about the Wellmark 3-Point Play program, and to nominate a South Dakota hometown to win this season’s health project funding, visit External Site.