SIOUX FALLS – The South Dakota Veterans Council announced today that a $2.1 million donation will help ensure the South Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Sioux Falls becomes a long-term, sustainable facility.

Philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, PREMIER Bankcard CEO Miles Beacom and his wife Lisa recently provided a $2.1 million gift to the South Dakota Veterans Council. The donation was the largest single donation ever received by the nonprofit organization.

“This generous donation speaks to the incredible work being done across our state for veterans and their families,” said Terry Paulsen, president of the South Dakota Veterans Council. “I can’t thank these individuals enough for believing in our commitment to building and maintaining this new cemetery.”

Beacom said the gift was a fitting way to thank South Dakota’s veterans and families for their service and sacrifice.

“Denny Sanford, Lisa and I are honored to be a part of this project,” Beacom said. “We are truly indebted to the brave men and women who have served our great nation, and this is simply our way of saying thank you. One of our PREMIER views and values is, “Make a Difference.” This gift is truly a way that we can make a difference in the lives of those who have given so much to all of us.”

Paulsen said the cemetery’s current footprint will support military veterans and their dependents for an estimated 125 years. The facility was initially authorized by former Governor Dennis Daugaard and has been championed by current Governor Kristi Noem. The project was also supported by the South Dakota Legislature, the South Dakota Veterans Council, the City of Sioux Falls and the South Dakota Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

“These gifts are a strong endorsement of the South Dakota Veterans Council and the State of South Dakota,” Paulsen said. “This support will add to the existing funds already raised and will help satisfy the $3 million goal required for the South Dakota Veterans Cemetery Annual Maintenance Reserve Fund.”

The South Dakota Veterans Council consists of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapters 1054 & 959 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The mission of the South Dakota Veterans Council is to develop statewide activities found to be for the good of all veterans and their families. It also provides a practical means by which veterans organizations throughout the state may effectively contribute to the betterment of all veterans. The South Dakota Veterans Council represents over 72,000 veterans and their families across the state of South Dakota.