- Associated Press - Monday, May 18, 2015

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A 90-year-old Minnesota man who has donated $1 million each to a state park and a nonprofit in western South Dakota says philanthropy is a way to acknowledge the good fortune he has enjoyed in his lifetime.

Lloyd Paulson, of Moorhead, Minnesota, made the gifts recently to Custer State Park and Youth and Family Services in Rapid City. He also recently donated $1 million to an aquatics center in his hometown of Parkers Prairie, Minnesota, the Rapid City Journal reported. (https://bit.ly/1de877v ).

Paulson worked for North Dakota-based Scheels All Sports, rising to the level of executive with the sporting goods chain that has 25 stores in 10 states. He retired in 1980. His recent donations were preceded by many other gifts through the years to organizations and causes in several states and even some foreign countries.

“I was just a farm boy,” he said. “I never went to college. I was a ‘C’ student in high school. But the good Lord has been good to me, and I’m just paying back what I can.”

Paulson said grew fond of South Dakota’s Black Hills region while vacationing there years ago, and he has a son who now lives there. He travels there a couple of times a year.

In 2013, the South Dakota chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals gave him its Outstanding Philanthropist Award

“I don’t need a lot of toys anymore,” Paulson said. “I’ve got all I need. I enjoy helping people.”

His $1 million donation to Youth and Family Services will help that organization build a new campus, Development Director Connie Olson said.

“He sees Rapid City as a second home,” she said. “He wants to make sure low-income families have the opportunities everyone else has.”

Dick Brown, co-development director of the South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation, helped facilitate Paulson’s $1 million gift to Custer State Park.

“He’s just a very solid, genuine human being who cares about others and is gratified by how life treated him,” Brown said. “And now he thinks it’s important to make a difference by sharing with others.”

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com


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