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Benefit Held For White Family

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It was on December 22 that three children lost their lives and a Sioux Falls family lost everything in a house fire. But once again the Sioux Empire is coming together to help a family in need. Saturday night a benefit was held at The Crow Bar for the children’s parents, Rhi and David White.

The couple said they cannot thank the community enough for all of their support and well wishes. They said the support they have received is what has helped them get through each day. But what they really want from the community is to always remember Michael, Savannah and Alivia.  

Rhi and David White said they lost everything, but the three most important things can never be replaced.  

"Our children, they all had personalities of their own,” said Rhi White.
All personalities that will never get to shine through.
“Michael was quiet...but he was funny,” said Rhi.
 “Savannah was a 12-year-old tomboy and was curious about everything in life,” she added.
“Alivia was our little cheerleader,” said Rhi.
“…And a big ball of energy, happiness, full of life,” said David White.

The couple said Michael, only 15, already had a good idea of what he wanted to major in, in college.
“Either robotics for medical surgery...or he wanted to do video game programming,” said Rhi.

They said Savannah was a people person-being apart of the YWCA.
"She was always trying to help someone. She would volunteer at the nursing home,” Rhi said.

And 6-year-old Alivia was a social butterfly.    

"You know knocking on all the neighbors doors wanting to play,” said Rhi.

And it seems their mother is the same way. Belinde Cordell is a co-worker of Rhi’s at The Crow Bar. She said Rhi has worked at the bar nearly three months. But she made an impression on everyone she met, making her co-workers feel the need to help out.
“She's got a wonderful personality and everyone just took to her immediately,” said Belinde Cordell.

 A hundred or so people gathered at The Crow Bar on Minnesota Avenue Saturday night to show their support. Through a silent auction, some baked goods and a little entertainment, the community hoped to raise some money for the family.

“When we got the news that this tragedy had happened, we wanted to help in someway,” said Cordell.

But knowing that nothing can bring their children back.

Rhi and David said they would continue to participate in the organizations their kids were part of. They said they believe that will be the best way to keep their memories alive.

Benefit coordinators hope to raise a few thousand dollars for the family.
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