Larsen Golf Tournament Raises Money for Scholarships
The Annual Roger D. Larsen Benefit Golf Tournament was held May 18 at the Minnehaha Country Club in Sioux Falls, SD. The tournament is sponsored by the Sky's the Limit Youth Foundation in support of various philanthropic foundations that were of interest to Roger Larsen.
Larsen was a 1970 graduate of Dakota State University, and was honored as an Outstanding Alumnus in 1999. He was a member of the Sioux Falls Skyforce ownership group from 1993-99 and again in 2001. Larsen and current Skyforce owner Greg Heineman were business partners at Williams Insurance for 31 years prior to Roger's unexpected death in 2002.
A large portion of the money raised in the tournament is donated to Dakota State University for the Roger D. Larsen Memorial Scholarship Endowment. To date, nearly $65,000 from the tournament has been donated to his scholarship fund.
DSU Vice President for University Advancement Judy Payne and others from the university participated in the tournament. "It was a fun event, but more importantly, an event in memory of a wonderful man, that raised money for a great cause," commented Payne. "This tournament is established as one of the most important single-day fundraisers for scholarships at Dakota State. My intention is to increase the university's involvement in the event, and to show our appreciation for what the Sky's the Limit Foundation is doing to promote educational opportunities at Dakota State University."
Golfing with Payne ('81) was Larry Canfield ('74), National Co-Chair for the DSU 2.0 Capital Campaign; DSU Vice President for Business Affairs, Stacy Krusemark; and Gary Garner, recently named DSU Head Men's Basketball Coach. Dakota State alumnus and Premier Bankcard President Miles Beacom ('81) sponsored a team that consisted of his colleagues including Dave Geiver (‘82), Bob Van Liere ('83), and Jim Harrenga.
In speaking at the dinner following the tournament, DSU President Dr. Doug Knowlton gave specific examples of students who are recipients of the Roger Larsen Scholarship. DSU students Brittany Beckett, Lexi Bohlander, and Katie Jones were Roger D. Larsen scholarship recipients for the 2008-2009 school year. Beckett is an elementary education major from Parkston, SD; Bohlander is a digital arts and design major from Britton, SD and Jones is an elementary education major from Milbank, SD.
In addition to Larsen's endowment, the Sky's the Limit Foundation also funds Champion Scholarships, which are awarded on the basis of an incoming student's ACT score. Champion scholars for 2008-2009 were Holli Plagmann, Arlington, SD, and Grant Miller. Miller is a digital arts and design major from Corsica, SD; Plagmann's major is undeclared.
Payne later commented on the scholarships the tournament has made available and the value of philanthropy to institutions such as Dakota State. "There is an increasing demand for scholarships for students who would otherwise not have the opportunity for a university education," said Payne. "To borrow from the foundation that sponsors the Roger Larsen Golf Tournament, the sky is definitely the limit when it comes to what DSU students can achieve with the continued support of our generous donors."