South Dakota girl receives big surprise during Rapid City Rush g - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

South Dakota girl receives big surprise during Rapid City Rush game


While many South Dakota students were enjoying a hockey game thanks to their reading efforts, one girl, whose mother is from South Sioux City, Nebraska, got a very big surprise

It was a Rapid City Rush game like no other.

A day off from school for a good cause, and an emotional reunion of a mother and her daughter.

Air force tech Sargent Joni Hansen was returned from deployment and met with her daughter Breanna on center ice in a warm reunion.

"My husband Josh called the school to see if that would be okay, and then he called me back and said you're going to go get her at a hockey game on center ice and I said okay." Said Hansen

From there, the puck dropped and thousands of students like Breanna cheered on the players.

The Rapid City Rush and the Rapid City Area School District teamed up to instill good reading habits on nearly 4,000 students from across the Black Hills. Those two entities along with the United Way of the black hills came together to promote good reading skills as part of the rush to read program.

"We want more students reading by the end of 3rd grade." Says Superintendent Lori Simon "Reading well so that they are successful in school and in life."

For many of the children, it was their first game.

"We anticipate that we have about 3500 children here today that have never been to a Rush game and we would like to think that they'll fall in love with the rush with the players, with nugget, digger, and all of the other fun things we have here at a rush game." said Rapid City Rush President Joe MacDonell

For the players and the audience alike, an unforgettable time instilling life skills and promoting good habits.

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