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Oct 5, 21

Fox News Anchor Pete Hegseth will headline the 40th Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner and Children’s Charity Fundraiser in Sioux Falls. Hegseth is the co-host of FOX & Friends Weekend – America's #1-rated cable morning television show. He also hosts multiple programs on FOX Nation, including the “Modern Warriors” and “Battle in the Holy Land” series. Hegseth is an Army veteran of Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay who holds two Bronze Stars and a Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his time overseas. He is also the author of “Modern Warriors” and “American Crusade,” both of which were New York Times bestsellers. Hegseth is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy’s School of Government. He and his wife Jennifer have seven kids, all proud Americans. This year’s event is Wednesday, November 10, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. at the Ramkota Exhibit Hall in Sioux Falls, SD. Doors will open at 5:15 p.m. The event was founded 40 years ago by Gene Abdallah as a way for local business and community leaders to come together and honor law enforcement officers throughout South Dakota. The event has also raised millions of dollars for children’s charities in the name of law enforcement. Each year, one law enforcement officer receives the William J. Janklow Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. Nearly 2,000 people attend the dinner every year, making it the largest of its kind in the United States. The event sells out quickly each year. “It’s amazing that this event is now celebrating its 40th anniversary” said Scott Abdallah – co-chair of the annual event. “South Dakota continues to distinguish itself from other states by doing everything possible to support and honor our men and women in law enforcement.” This year’s event will open with a performance by country music legends Kelley Lovelace and Neil Thrasher. Lovelace has written songs for Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenney Chesney, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Sheryl Crow, Randy Houser, Scotty McCreary, Terri Clark, Montgomery Gentry, Joe Nichols and many others. Among these recordings are 21 Top 10 Billboard hits, with an astounding 16 hits reaching the #1 position on the charts. Lovelace was awarded the Song of the Year award by TNN for “He Didn’t Have to Be,” which was co-written and recorded with Brad Paisley. Thrasher originally sang backing vocals on Garth Brooks 1990 album, No Fences. Over his lengthy career as a performer and writer, he has written songs for Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire, Jason Aldean, Rhett Akins, Kenny Chesney, Billy Ray Cyrus, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan, Collin Raye, Montgomery Gentry, Randy Houser, Bryan Austin, Ronnie Dunn, Tyler Farr and many others. Among these recordings are many Billboard Top 10 hits, with an amazing 10 hits reaching #1 on the charts. In 2010, Thrasher was awarded GMA’s “Country Song of the Year” for Somebody Like Me by Jason Crabb and, in 2013, Thrasher was once again honored with ASCAP’s “Country Song of the Year” for How Country Feels by Randy Houser. “Because this year is our 40th anniversary, we wanted to do something extra special for law enforcement and our guests,” Abdallah said. “We wanted to bring Nashville to Sioux Falls and let our audience listen to some of the most iconic country music songs ever recorded, performed by the original artists who actually wrote the songs.” Lovelace and Thrasher will perform at the Ramkota Exhibit Hall from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. with the formal program beginning around 6:45 p.m. Governor Kristi Noem, Chief Justice Steven Jensen, Mayor Paul TenHaken and many other dignitaries are expected to be on hand for the event.

It is great to work with the attorneys at Johnson, Janklow, and Abdallah. They always provide excellent advice and service that is second to none.

Mike Miller | former NBA player

The lawyers at Johnson, Janklow, and Abdallah are consistently ranked as the top business lawyers in the state. Our business can always count on them to aggressively fight for our rights and provide straight-forward advice on complex issues.

Mark McNeary | Primrose Retirement Communities, LLC

Lawyers from Johnson, Janklow, and Abdallah regularly participate in legal education by judging intramural student skills competitions; helping prepare our nationally competitive litigation skills teams; serving or leading the South Dakota State Bar's Law School Committee; and, from time to time , providing guest lecturers. The Law School is grateful for the generous participation of lawyers like those from Johnson, Janklow, and Abdallah.

Tom Geu | former Dean, USD School of Law