The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) recently presented Doug and Linda Buri with the Christen-Larson Heritage Circle Award. The Buris have been magnanimous members of the Milbank community for over five decades.
Linda began her retail clothing business, Linda’s Fashions, in downtown Milbank in 1980. Since that time, she and Doug have been gracious donors to charitable organizations in the area, and they have contributed to a donor advised endowment fund (DAF) directed by SDCF.
“With this fund, Linda and I are able to see our charitable dollars grow over time and distribute funds to any nonprofit organizations we choose, forever,” Doug said. “We trust the investment and administrative expertise provided by SDCF, and we are honored to partner with them in creating a stronger Milbank and a stronger South Dakota.”
In addition to the establishment of their DAF, the Buris have generously supported the Fairy Godmother’s Fund (FGF), a permanent endowment fund held at SDCF that provides immediate, short-term, critical financial support to women in South Dakota.
In 2022 and 2023, the Buri’s offered a challenge to donors: gifts to the FGF would be matched with funds from Doug and Linda, thus enabling every donation to make an even greater impact.
Jamie Farmen of SDCF said, “It is the goal of the FGF to make a difference in the lives of women in South Dakota, and the FGF was created to improve the health and well-being of women with limited resources. It isn’t always easy to make ends meet – sudden illnesses, loss of employment, abuse, and other issues can spring up and devastate strong women in our communities. We help them get back on their feet.” The fund helps them address immediate, short-term, critical needs that can’t be met by traditional funding options.
“Our advisory council, composed of women throughout the state, works to ensure the funds benefit women throughout the year,” Farmen stated, “and Linda became a council member in 2023.”
“We are grateful to the Buris for their continued support, not only to the Fairy Godmother’s Fund, but to the charitable causes in the Milbank area and to their DAF with the SDCF,” said Ginger Niemann, senior program manager at SDCF. “It is because of generous donors like Doug and Linda that we are able to create a never-ending story of people helping people.”
The Christen-Larson Heritage Award is bestowed on those who honor the spirit of giving as demonstrated by the Christen and Larson families who have been influential in the evolution and continued growth of the South Dakota Community Foundation.
Paul and the late Muffy Christen championed growth and sustainability in the communities in which they owned and operated banks. Dale Larson and his late wife, Pat, quietly supported some of South Dakota’s greatest philanthropic endeavors for decades.
Both couples instilled the virtue of generosity in their daughters to encourage them to continue to support charitable organizations and programs that help meet basic human needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and education.
The SDCF – with offices in Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, and Aberdeen – administers 1,200 funds benefiting hundreds of charitable organizations annually. The Foundation distributed nearly $30 million in grants in 2022.