Memorial tributes offer lasting gifts

HURON – Everlasting memorial tributes to loved ones continue to be offered by the Huron Community Foundation, while also improving the lives of residents for generations to come.
Donors of monetary gifts to the foundation – of any size – can keep their memory alive for grieving relatives and friends long after the funeral is over and the sympathy cards are stored away.
“It’s an opportunity to honor your loved one while investing in your community’s future,” said Mary Pearson, foundation board secretary.
Huron’s program takes a page from one initiated by the Britton community. There, average donations in an individual’s memory have been $15, but so many have contributed that thousands of dollars have been raised.
When a donation is made to the Huron Community Foundation, a card is sent to family members recognizing the loss of their loved one and informing them that a gift has been received as a memorial.
Those who wish to donate will fill out an instruction sheet and send it and a memorial card to the foundation, in care of the Huron Chamber & Visitors Bureau, which will then forward them to the foundation.
The foundation will send the family an acknowledgement of the gift and will also send the donor a receipt.
“This (gift) goes into the permanent endowment of the Huron Community Foundation and for generations will benefit the community of Huron because we only use the earnings off the donations to make annual grants,” said board member David McGirr.
To date, the Huron Community Foundation has distributed in excess of $300,000 in community grants.
People often struggle with what kind of a memorial to leave for a deceased individual, McGirr said, and may not have time to look for a gift or even know what the family might need or want.
“This is a way that they can honor the memory of the person, and their gift will return benefits forever,” he said.
It also provides an opportunity for people to give to the foundation in smaller amounts, Pearson said.
Those who have not been able to afford to make larger donations to the foundation can now do so with a smaller gift and know that their contribution will also be part of the annual grants benefiting local organizations.
“We’re just trying to create more awareness of the foundation and this is a great opportunity for people to give to the foundation and provide a memorial, McGirr said.
It is also important to note that gifts can be made in the names of people who died years ago.
Steve Gohn, foundation chairman, recalled the time a few years ago when, after he had explained the program at a meeting of a local organization, an elderly gentleman approached him with a donation he wanted to make in the memory of his mother and father.
Through the foundation program, their names, and so many others, will live on forever while gifts in their memories will improve the lives of Huron residents far into the future.
Memorial cards are available at American Bank & Trust, Ameriprise, Avail Wealth Management, Bank of the West, Cornerstones Financial Solutions, Creative Printing, Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, Farmers & Merchants Bank, First National Bank, Kuhler Funeral Home and M&O Federal Credit Union, State Farm Insurance, Thrivent Financial, Wells Fargo Bank, Wells Fargo Advisors and Welter Funeral Home.
Those with questions are asked to contact Dr. Michael Fuchs.

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