SIOUXPERHEROES Recognized at City Council Meeting

Two SIOUXPERHERO Citizen Recognition Awards were presented at tonight’s City Council meeting. The recipients were Chariots for Children and Evgeniya (Zhenya) Lukyanova. They were recognized for the following reasons:

Chariots for Children

Chariots for Children is a volunteer-led, 501(c)3 organization founded in November 2015 by Tim Ingalls and Tom Broadbent to provide bikes, scooters, wagons, and walking aids to serve children who are low-income, distressed, or underprivileged. For most kids, there comes an age when not knowing how to ride a bike becomes socially unacceptable. But bikes, no matter what their speeds, are often too expensive and out-of-reach for many youths.

The Chariots for Children Program involves over 100 volunteer families who gathered to assemble the chariots. The program is 100 percent funded by sponsorships from local businesses and private individuals, with every dollar utilized to purchase the chariots. In the past three years, Chariots for Children has donated over 400 chariots to underserved children through organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Evgeniya (Zhenya) Lukyanova

Zhenya came to Sioux Falls in 2008 from Russia, where she dedicated 20-plus years to studying and teaching geology at a university level, where she rose from researcher, to the deputy head of the faculty. After coming to Sioux Falls, she studied Reiki (Ray-Key), which is a safe Japanese energy-based therapy, that promotes deep relaxation and a sense of well being. It is based on the concept that we all have energy centers and pathways through and around us. Reiki specialists are adjusted to this energy so that the energy runs through their hands to the person receiving it. As a master practitioner, she approached Sanford Health in 2016 with the hopes of starting a Reiki Volunteer Program as a form of integrative medicine for patients. Since her initial proposal and piloting the program, Sanford was able to train a group of 12 employees and volunteers to expand the program and is now expanding once again as interest continues to grow with patients. Zhenya is passionate about Reiki, which shows through her deep sense of thankfulness for the ability to come and share her training with patients. She is thankful for the opportunity to serve, and for how wonderfully the staff and patients treat her.

The City Council established the SIOUXPERHERO Citizen Recognition Program to emphasize positive stories, people, and developments in Sioux Falls, and to encourage others to become more active, positive forces in the community.

Additional information and nomination forms can be found at or by visiting Carnegie Town Hall located at 235 West Tenth Street. Nominations that meet the eligibility requirements will be reviewed by a panel consisting of four City Council members, two Sioux Falls residents, and one City staff member who will recommend nominees to the full City Council for recognition. Once approved by the City Council, the SIOUXPERHERO(ES) will be recognized on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the start of their regular meeting.

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