GRADS fundraiser brings in over $800 for the local food pantry.

The GRADS pick-a-prize raffle raised over $800 with the proceeds benefiting the Milbank Food Pantry. Winners include: Jodi Dale, JoAnn Tillman, Sarah Weinberg, Mary Bjordahl, Gloria Boos, Merna Howard, Natasha Karels, Cindy Pillatzki, and Kim Eisenschenk.

Check out our news coverage on The Valley Express website.

GRADS Meeting April 11, 2023

Middlebrook Community Room 6:30 p.m.

Five people attended the Grant Roberts Area Disability Supports meeting. Please note that our meeting minutes, scheduled events and much more will be on the website


The National Disability Employment Awareness Month event will be on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at the Family Life Center, 404 West Hickory Street, Sisseton. Dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m. followed by a guest speaker and the recognition of local employers/employees. GRADS will contribute $125. toward expenses

ADA Celebration

The Americans with Disabilities Act Celebration will tentatively be held on Monday, July 31, 2023 at the Milbank Community Room/Visitors Center. Subs, chips, bars and beverage will be served starting at 6:00 p.m. Several short presentations will be given followed by BINGO. Katrina Koeppe will send out invitations (mid June?) and will follow up closer to the event. Charlotte Athey will reserve the room, get the BINGO game, purchase paper products, chips and bottled water. Laura Maag may have a modified BINGO game to use. Rachael Johnson will get the subs from Subway and arrange for members to bring bars/cookies. Katrina wil find out the names of the new Independent Living Choices staff and invite them to speak at the event. We will all gather BINGO prizes. We will discuss advertising at our next meeting.

Rummage Sale

We will have a rummage sale on Saturday, July 15 with set up on Friday, July 14 after 5:00 p.m. Charlotte Athey has reserved the Middlebrook Community Room via text. We will discuss advertising and other details at our meeting on June 8.


Laura Maag, Life Quest, requests funding for field trip mileage. Some ideas she mentioned were trips to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant in DeSmet, Ft. Sisseton events, or a trip to Brookings. She will contact us regarding specific needs. Another idea she presented was for GRADS to purchase state park year passes for 2 vehicles at a cost of $54.

Katrina Koeppe suggested that the 18-21 program may need some funds. We will refer this issue to MaryLou Bullert.

Financial Report

The checking account balance as of March 31, 2023 was $3,716.52. in the First Bank and Trust in Milbank. This includes $1,475.from the Lucky Leprechaun Secret Treasure Box raffle.

Change in Meeting Day

Laura Maag made a motion to move the GRADS meeting day to the second Thursday of the month. Katrina Koeppe seconded it. All voted in favor of the change via voice vote with none opposed. The location and time will remain the same.

Next Meeting

The next GRADS meeting will be on Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. at the Middlebrook Community Room, 902 East Milbank Avenue, Milbank. We will finalize plans for the rummage sale and the ADA Celebration.

Respectfully submitted,

Rachael Johnson

The Grant Roberts Area Disability Supports drew their three basket winners on Wednesday, March 15th. The winners are: Brad and Kathy Folk, Milbank; James Johnson, Sisseton; and Karen Nolte, Webster. Pictured at the top is winner Kathy Folk with Mary Lou Bullert from GRADS. Next is James Johnson, below that is winner Karen Nolte of Webster.

Jim Johnson of Sisseton was impressed with the prize box/basket filled with a multitude of items and gift cards. Thanks to GRADS!

The drawing was also attended by GRADS supporters and board members.

Back row LR- Mark Sieverson, Kathy Sieverson, Janet Michlitsch, Sharon Larson, Roy Larson, Bill Sieverson, James Michlitsch, George Boos. Front row LR- Rachael Johnson, Mary Lou Bullert, Cheryl Sieverson, Char Athey, Gloria Boos, Deb Homan. Picture taken by Brian Bullert

Thank you to all who participated and supported our fundraiser!

GRADS Meeting Feb. 7, 2023

Middlebrook Community Room 5:30 p.m.


This brief meeting focused on the Lucky Leprechaun raffle and the Boost for Teachers grants.

Lucky Leprechaun Raffle

MaryLou Bullert shared pictures of donated items. Rachael Johnson brought additional items from Doubletree Gallery, 3 Bean Coffee, Teal’s Market and garden/bird stuff. MaryLou had a printout which listed all the gift basket contents. The three baskets have a total value of over $1,000. Rachael and MaryLou will send thank you notes to the contributors. Raffle tickets were distributed. The raffle officially starts today. If anyone wishes to help sell raffle tickets please reply to this message and we will mail some to you.


Boost for Teachers

We reviewed applications. It was decided to award four $100. grants for Boost for Teachers to be presented by February 17. The recipients are May Amodia from Sisseton (coffee shop project), Karen Siriban from Sisseton (Cricut project), Michele Benike from Milbank (transition program/ job readiness), and Abbey Trapp from Milbank (support for Special Olympics Track and Field event hosted by Milbank). Congratulations to these teachers and their students. Rachael Johnson, GRADS Secretary/Treasurer, issued the checks.



A check for $100. will be sent to Cheryl Pocklington for her work with the GRADS website.


Meeting Schedule

We will meet at the end of the raffle for the drawing and distribution of baskets on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at the Bullert home at tentatively 5:30p.m.

The GRADS annual meeting and election will be on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. at the Middlebrook Community Room, 902 East Milbank Avenue, Milbank.

GRADS Meeting                                                                                        November 9, 2021

Midlebrook Community Room                                                                   6:30 p.m.

Six people attended the Grant Roberts Area Disability Supports meeting. Please note that our meeting minutes, scheduled events, and much more will be on the website:


We decorated jars for the Gift in a Jar fundraiser. The 3 kinds are oatmeal chocolate chip bread, chocolate chip cookies, and bean soup. Thanks to Cheryl Sieverson for providing colorful material squares. There will be a bake sale and Gift in a Jar sale on Saturday, November 20 from 9-2 at the Middlebrook Community Room, 902 Milbank Avenue in Milbank. We encourage parents and people with disabilities to help sell or to provide baked goods. Rachael Johnson, Matthew and Charlotte Athey and MaryLou Bullert will work. Jars will sell for $8 each or 2 for $15. Bake sale items will be priced: cookies-$5/dozen or $3/half dozen; quick breads- $3/large loaf or $2.50/small loaf; peanut brittle $5. Please bring the marked items on Saturday morning. We will also serve bean soup for a free will offering. Rachael will bring napkins, spoons, & crackers. She will also bring change. Char will bring bowls and a cash box. MaryLou will make the soup and bring gloves and masks. Lara will make posters and a sign for the soup. Lara will send a poster to Cheryl to include on the website.

Christmas Display

LifeQuest and GRADS would like to assemble a holiday lighted display at Hartford Beach. Lara Maag has large inflatables, lots of lights and a pup tent to use. Lara will contact the park manager regarding this. Char Athey will ask Sean  Athey about making a sign for the display and perhaps making a generic one for GRADS to use at our other events.


Rachael Johnson reported on a successful event on October 7 with approx. 40 people in attenance. A big thank you is extended to GRADS and Grant County Arc for helping to sponsor this event. Rachael inquired if Sean Athey would make invitations and a poster for next year’s event. Char Athey will check on this.

Financial Report

The balance in First Bank and Trust checking account in Milbank was $1,718.58 as of 10/29/21.

Next Meeting

The next GRADS meeting will be on Tuesday, January 11 at 7:00 p.m. via ZOOM. Brenda Teske will arrange this. On the agenda will be having a booth at the farm show or a transition fair, quilt project, and NDEAM budget.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00.

Respectfully submitted,

Rachael Johnson, Secretary