Brandi's Story

"The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not 'get over' the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to."      -Unknown


Brandi Wahl-Lueders was born to Jeff and Starr on December 14, 1976. She attended elementary school in Chamberlain, SD where she participated in the Special Olympics. She also attended Garfield Elementary in Sioux Falls, and up to 8th grade graduation in Alexandria, SD. While in Alexandria, she was the team manager in the Special Olympics. At age 17, she furthered her education at Sioux Vocational Services in Sioux Falls. Brandi was the spokesperson and honored guest at the Sioux Vocational Services Lifetime Donor Banquet. She also spoke to the Appropriations Committee of the South Dakota Legislature on behalf of Sioux Vocational Services. Brandi had 3 main goals she was determined to achieve: to live independently, to have a great job, and to one day, get married. At age 18, she lived independently, and began her career at the Eros Data Center, where she served as the copy room manager. She was working at Eros at the time of her death. On June 22, 2002, Brandi married the man of her dreams, Chad Lueders.


Brandi accomplished all she set out to do before passing away from a heart defect in 2005.


Brandi brought joy and love to all who knew her. She knew from a young age that she was different but never allowed the opinions or limitations of others to become her own.

Mission Statement:

The Bash to the Colonies Regatta is a philanthropic sailing event that raises money for local charities. The mission is to promote and encourage fellowship, friendship and camaraderie; and promote an appreciation of sailing in a fun, safe, and friendly atmosphere. This goal is accomplished by utilizing the power of volunteerism and fostering a community spirit that instills fun for the benefit of the local charities.


Bash to the Colonies Sailboat Regatta is a "friendly competition" between sailing enthusiasts. Trophies are awarded but the event is not a hardcore race. It has developed into a weekend of sailing, fun, food, music, and entertainment. All types of boats get on the Lewis and Clark Lake to watch the race, tag along with the race, and to simply enjoy the water for the weekend. There are many fun and exciting things to do throughout the weekend. All the proceeds for this event will be going to benefit a local charity.

Lewis & Clark Lake • Yankton, SD

About Brandi Wahl-Lueders

In loving memory of Brandi Wahl-Lueders