Huron Is Home
August 27, 2018
“This is home,” Colton Ketelhut says without a moment of hesitation. Not one.
So, the decision for Colton to move to Huron and start his family here was an easy one. Colton grew up in Miller—about 45 minutes west of Huron—and is a 2012 graduate of Miller High School. During high school, he and his friends could often be found in Huron, making the drive to eat out, watch basketball games or just “hang out at Walmart.”
“Huron is kind of Miller’s version of a big city,” he said with a chuckle.
Now 23, Colton is finishing up a physical therapy degree at University of South Dakota, a degree that has been funded in part thanks to a Fund for the Future Scholarship from Huron Regional Medical Center Foundation. He will graduate in 2019, and shortly after he walks across the graduation stage, will start work at Huron Regional Medical Center. In return for the scholarship, Colton has made a four-year commitment to work at the Huron hospital.
It’s forward thinking like the Fund for the Future Scholarship from Huron Regional Medical Center Foundation, made possible thanks to the generosity of donors in Huron, that helps ensure Huron will be a healthy and vibrant community for years to come. The scholarship was started in 2016 to tackle the highest priority strategic medical needs for the area—including recruiting and retaining a new generation of medical staff.
For Colton, the scholarship gave him a head start on his career. “The support from the foundation helped me a ton,” Colton said. “It’s a huge financial help to support my education. It’s help that I intend to give back time and again in my work at the medical center.”
Similarly, Colton’s wife, MiKayla, is proud to call Huron home. She graduated high school from nearby Wolsey in 2012 and received an undergraduate degree from South Dakota State University. She now works as the convention and event director at the Huron Chamber and Visitors Bureau. The couple recently bought their first home in Huron, and Colton travels back from USD every weekend.
It’s only natural that he and MiKayla moved to Huron—after all, their love story started there. “Our first date was at the movie theater in Huron,” he says. They went to the movie In Time, starring Justin Timberlake, after meeting during South Dakota All-State Choir. The two continued to date while attending South Dakota State University and were married in 2018. Now they want to continue their life close to their parents in a community that shares their values.
“Some of our greatest memories growing up were with grandpa and grandma,” he says. “We want our kids someday to have that same experience.”
Colton sees Huron as the best of both worlds for him and his family. “It’s growing,” he says, in part because of new businesses and the regional hospital. “But it still gives you that same hometown, rural feeling that MiKayla and I love.”
He loves the hunting, fishing and outdoor opportunities the region offers but also says Huron also has a lot to offer young couples like great restaurants and entertainment. And he recognizes the role Huron Regional Medical Center has taken to attract new families to the community—and keep others here.
For Colton, a huge plus will be the $3 million renovation of the maternity floor at the hospital. “There’s a lot to offer young couples, and when you get into the community you see how we are continuing to grow,” he says. “It used to be that people said you had to go to Sioux Falls or Mitchell or somewhere to have a baby.
“But that’s not the case anymore.”
As a physical therapist, Colton is looking forward to bringing new ideas and techniques to Huron to help the community. “I remember getting up early and driving to Huron for a swim meet when I was a kid,” he recalls. “Then, we would go across the street and play a quick nine at the golf course and be back to swim again in the afternoon.”
Now, he hopes to help Huron and the surrounding area’s athletes and community members with new techniques he has learned in strength conditioning, health and wellness classes. “I think I can bring a new energy to help build a name for myself, and Huron,” Colton says. “Surrounding communities will be able to come to Huron and get brand new physical therapy techniques.”
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