On Oct. 26, 2012, Gary and Connie Grittner of Fort Pierre committed over a 10-year period $1 million to their endowment fund held with the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF). Seven years later, almost to the day, Grittners delivered the final payment of the $1 million pledge. The pace of the Grittner’s giving and their continued support of community efforts meant they accomplished their goal early.
“Gary and Connie have been generous and thoughtful members of the Pierre and Fort Pierre community since they retired here nearly 16 years ago,” said Stephanie Judson, SDCF president. “They embraced our community as their forever home, and their investment in the SDCF will support their philanthropic goals now and leave a lasting legacy in this community Forever.”
Upon their retirement, the Grittners relocated from the suburbs of Washington, D.C. to Fort Pierre. They volunteered countless hours in the community and became involved in local community projects and organizations. Their desire to make a difference in the lives that follow led them to also make provisions in their estate to provide funds supporting their passions long into the future.
Priorities of the Grittner’s giving include summer camp tuition at the South Dakota School of Mines for high school Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) students; monthly books for Stanley and Hughes County children from birth to age five through the United Way and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library; a laser cutting machine for a high school engineering classroom; the first fort in Fort Pierre in 150 years; a matching grant for STEM projects at a middle school; a sponsorship of four bronze statues in the Pierre Trail of Governors; matching grants to the Greater Lyman Foundation; a contribution to rehabilitate the Pat Duffy Community Center in Fort Pierre; and support to rehabilitate the 1906 train depot in Fort Pierre.
Philanthropists have many different goals and objectives, but the flexible contribution and distribution policies of the SDCF, along with ensuring a secure legacy, was an ideal match for the Grittners.