SD State Attorney General Marty Jackley Speaks at C.O.R.E.- Freshman Impact 1st Annual Fundraiser at Crazy Horse Memorial

By Herb Ryan
October 30, 2106

Custer, SD – On Saturday evening October 29, 2016, Laughing Water Restaurant at Crazy Horse Memorial was the scene of the C.O.R.E. (Community Organized Resources for Educating our youth) Freshman Impact 1st Annual Fundraiser and 4th Annual Volunteer Recognition event. The event kicked off at 2:00 in the afternoon with a cider and doughnuts social hour followed by rides in the Fatal Vision Goggles Kart Course. Then it was time to tour the base of Crazy Horse mountain,also  included were activities for kids and daycare. Volunteer Recognition took place in the Crazy Horse theatre at 3:15 with MC- Sarah Morrison, Deputy State’s Attorney and Speaker Attorney General Marty Jackley. A prime rib dinner was served after guest previewed  items for a silent and live auction conducted by Harold Printz of Printz Auctioneering Service. This was followed by guest speaker South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley.

After AG Jackley addressed the crowd we had a brief conversation on the evenings main topic.

“The biggest point I tried to convey to the crowd tonight was the importance of prevention over prosecution. When you look at Freshman Impact, you see it is one of those great programs that involve’s students and first responders. It gives a strong positive message and really gives kids the tools to help address addictions, learning to say no and avoiding peer pressure. Freshman Impact  is now in a three state area and 50 different school districts in South Dakota to have an impact on freshmen.” Said SD State Attorney General Marty Jackley

On the question of the system and drug abuses particularly methamphetamine SD State Attorney General Marty Jackley said “ When you look at what we have done in South Dakota, the main focus is on the court system that often has a component addressing treatment, but it’s only a component and that’s why you see “No Meth Ever” and Freshman Impact and a variety of programs looking at the prevention side of it because here in South Dakota we have typically not been strong enough on the prevention and treatment side. We have always focused our resources on prosecution and incarceration. We are doing a better a better job with preventative resources, focusing on treatment so we never get to the prosecution and incarceration stage.

On the question of legalizing marijuana in the SD State Attorney General Marty Jackley said.” At this point I have been a strong advocate believing that marijuana causes public health and safety problem. When it involves medical marijuana I would like to work with Federal authorities on increased research and experimental opportunities that may help a child having  seizures, or and ailing adult that may have cancer or may need pain relief for other conditions”.


South Dakota State Attorney General Marty Jackley addresses the audience at the C.O.R.E.- Freshman Impact 1st Annual Fundraiser Saturday evening October 29, 2016 at Crazy Horse Memorial. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press


Rick McPherson co-founder of Freshman Impact introduces speaker Ashley Strand former student who spoke about the positive change the Freshman Impact program had on her life at the C.O.R.E.- Freshman Impact 1st Annual Fundraiser at Crazy Horse Memorial. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

The following information comes from the Freshman Impact Website.

Freshman Impact: Caught in the Moment is a powerful one-day prevention program for young teenage students. The students see up close and learn through hands-on activities the possible consequences of wrong choices and the lasting effects physically and emotionally on their bodies, their families and friends, and their community. The program promotes communication and developing rapport between the youth and law enforcement / fire / rescue personnel.

The program brings together local, county, state and federal resources to educate students, parents and school staff on destructive teenage issues and the consequences. Law enforcement/fire/rescue departments can use the program as inter-departmental training for their personnel in emergency response skills, working as a team with other area departments, and promoting community relations.

As a team, everyone works together to promote young teenagers making safe choices and preventing destructive behaviors. It is important to give our young teenagers the tools to develop life-long skills and values to make the best choices.


SD Attorney General Marty Jackley to be Guest Speaker at Freshman Impact 10 Year Celebration


The Freshman Impact program is announcing its 10th year anniversary. The general public is invited to the 1st fundraising Prime Rib Dinner and Auction at Crazy horse Memorial on October 29th 2016. South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley will be the speaker for the event.

Auction preview starts at 5:00 p.m. with buffet dinner at 5:30. FREE ADMISSION TO CRAZY HORSE. Meal tickets on sale on website: or send checks and donations to C.O.R.E. 22732 Rando Court, Box Elder SD 57719. Cash, check or credit card accepted at auction.

“This works!” stated Pat Carlson, a defense attorney who has participated in many Freshman Impact programs. Freshman Impact has been credited for turning many high school freshman student lives around.

Freshman Impact is a one-day event coordinated among local agencies, state and federal law enforcement, fire, rescue and other first-responders that educates teenagers on the devastating effects of poor choices. The program’s goal is to immerse freshmen in pre-planned crisis situations and equip them with the tools to make healthier decisions.

“We’re saving lives,” said Freshman Impact Founder Rick McPherson of the program, which ranges from interactive learning stations in: social media risks, healthy relationships, STD’s, youth leadership, drugs, underage drinking, teen suicide awareness, team building, seatbelt use to mock scenarios that occur when emergency medical technicians (EMTs) arrive on scene at a mock crash followed by a funeral and mock sentencing hearing done by real Judges and attorneys.

In 2006, McPherson, who is a Pennington County Sheriff’s Deputy, became disheartened at the number of tragedies he was experiencing due to underage drinking and driving accidents and deaths . “There was an atmosphere of drinking, which was accepted by our youth,” said McPherson, leading to tragedies that McPherson would respond to as a law enforcement officer. McPherson, encouraged by a close friend and prominent defense attorney founded Freshmen Impact that year. One school attended and 67 students. Since 2006, it has grown to 53 schools, 3 states involved and is a federally recognized 501 (c) 3 Non-Profit Organization.

Freshman Impact: Caught in the Moment is a powerful one-day prevention program for freshman students to experience first-hand the tragedies and consequences of their actions from start to finish. Students participate in hands-on activities, to understand the consequences and lasting effects, physically and emotionally, those choices may have on their bodies, families, friends and community.

Freshman Impact brings together first-responders from local to federal agencies, including law enforcement, fire and rescue, to create a sense of community by developing relationships through communication between youth and first-responders. By incorporating the community at large, first responders have the opportunity to train for emergency response situations and educate the community on their participation.

The impact is through the community working together to promote safe choices and preventing destructive behaviors of our youth, giving them the tools and resources to make life-long skills and values to live a healthier and happier life.