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William Shatner to headline Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner

Jul 8, 24

Television and film legend William Shatner will visit South Dakota for the first time and headline the 43rd annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner and Children’s Charity Fundraiser this fall.

The event will be Oct. 30 in a new venue — the Sioux Falls Convention Center — allowing for a crowd larger than the 2,000-person cap the event has had for many years.

Shatner is best known for his portrayal of Capt. James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise.

Among his many law enforcement-related roles, Shatner has played veteran police Sgt. T.J Hooker on “T.J. Hooker” and attorney Denny Crane in the series “The Practice” and “Boston Legal” — a role that earned him two Emmy Awards. Shatner also hosted the reality-based television series “Rescue 911,” which featured the heroism of first responders across the country.

He also is a prolific author, director, producer and even a recording artist. In 2021, at the age of 90, Shatner became the oldest person to fly into space, the “final frontier,” when he flew aboard the Blue Origin suborbital capsule.

The Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner was founded 43 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 raised millions of dollars for children’s charities in the name of law enforcement. Each year at the dinner, one law enforcement officer receives the William J. Janklow Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award.

“We are absolutely thrilled to bring William Shatner to South Dakota for the first time. This will certainly be a rare opportunity for people to meet a true icon and one of the most interesting people in the world,” said Scott Abdallah, co-chair of the annual event.

“We developed a long waiting list for this charity fundraiser. The Convention Center will allow us to accommodate all of those who have been waiting for years to secure tickets and, at the same time, help us to raise more money for children’s charities.”

Doors will open at 5:15 p.m. The formal program begins around 6:45 p.m. As always, many of South Dakota’s leaders are expected to be on hand to address the audience.

This year’s beneficiaries include the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network, South Dakota Special Olympics, LifeScape, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Children’s Home Society, Call to Freedom, Family Visitation Center and Cops & Kids.

Limited seats remain. Those interested in sponsoring tables of 10 people or more should call 605-338-4304.

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