Tripp Area Community Foundation | South Dakota Community Foundation

Tripp Area Community Foundation

To enrich and promote prosperity for a brighter future for the Tripp Area

Woman outside looking into a field

Founded in 2009 Giving Back to the Tripp area

In 2009, a group of residents decided to create an asset that would give back to Tripp and the surrounding areas forever. They accepted a challenge from the South Dakota Community Foundation to raise $100,000 within five years. In exchange, they would receive a $25,000 matching grant from the SDCF. The challenge was completed in 2012 when the estate of Don Kennedy made a $1 Million gift to the fund. This resulted in an $800,000 scholarship fund supporting high school/college students, and $400,000 going to support Tripp Area communities through the Tripp Area Community Foundation. As the fund grows, so will the impact it has on our communities.

Active Transportation Recommendations for the City of Tripp, SD (April 2018)

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presented by the Landscape Architecture Program at South Dakota State University in cooperation with the South Dakota Department of Health


The Tripp Area Community Foundation has distributed over $45,000 in grants to community projects and programs. As the fund grows, so will the amount of grants that are available each year to distribute. To find out more about available grant opportunities or to submit an application, please contact our advisory council.

Our Contributors

Thanks to the generosity of supporters in the Tripp area, $1,087,488 has been donated to the Tripp Area Community Foundation since 2009. This included the estate of Don Kennedy who gave $1 Million to the fund. All donations to the fund make a difference. Special thanks to the following individuals and businesses for their support of this community asset.

Anna Mick
Betty & Mary Bradley
Betty Bradley
Betty Bradley & Mary Stradley
Beverly Mach
Bradford & Lisa Barz
Brian Brosz
Calvin & Ann Pietz
Charles Gukeisen
Cornelius Finck
Darvin Albrecht
Dennis Batterman
Donald Kennedy Estate
Ed Rembold
Elmer & Carol Bietz
First State Bank - Tripp
Fred, Bob & Suzanne Wollman
Gary & Sharon Ugland
Gerald & Carol Schoenfelder
Glen & Darla Vilhauer
Glendora Zeitner
Hannele Mueller
Helen Baltzer
Idle Hour Theatre
James & Myra Weber
James Sopoci
Jane Hatch
Jason & Fredel Thomas
Jean Taylor
Jeffrey & Theresa Kramer
Kenneth & Laurie Bietz
Kramer Chiropractic Clinic, PC
Leendert & Candice Bijnagte
Louise Guthmiller Estate
Mark & Amy Knutson
Marlene Nuss
Marvin & Karla Herr
Marvin & Shirley Huber, Jr.
Michael & Lorrie Weber
Michael Freier
Michael J. Weber
Myron Lippert
Philip & Vesta Holtgraves
R.R. & Charlotte Mikuska
Roland A. Goehring
Sally Miller
South Dakota Community Foundation
Steve Permann
Tripp Area Community Foundation
Tripp Horizon Community Project
Troy Lee & Amy Sorlien-Lee
Walter Rembold
Wayne & Tammy Bietz
William Fischer & Pamela Osthus
Willmer & Wilma Herr

Donald Louis Kennedy passed away on February 25, 2012. He was a bachelor, farmer and Iowa native who found a new home in Tripp as a young man. Don’s hard work was recently the benefit of the Tripp Community and future Tripp-Delmont High School students when Mr. Kennedy’s estate named them as beneficiaries in his Will. But this gift may have gone unrealized if not for the serendipitous blizzard that changed the future of a community and a philanthropic vehicle that made giving back to Tripp a breeze.

“I had planned on attending a wrestling tournament in Aberdeen that day,” recalled Jim Haar, an attorney in Tripp. “Bernice [Don’s only sister] had called hoping that I would meet with the two of them to discuss Don’s philanthropic goals.”

Not often the case with blizzards in South Dakota, this one in particular had positive implications for the small farming community. While the storm did not affect the day-to-day business of Tripp, travel conditions up north were not favorable, and Mr. Haar opted to stay home.

“If it wasn’t for that snowstorm, I would not have been home to take that original call from Bernice,” continued Haar. “Together, we discussed giving options with Mr. Kennedy, including the option of giving to the Tripp Area Community Foundation. Mr. Kennedy had a number of groups, organizations, and individuals in town that he wanted to help.”

With all of his goals and wishes in place, all that remained was for the document to be drafted and finalized with a signature from Mr. Kennedy. That was, until, tragedy struck the next day.

“Bernice had called the next day asking if I was able to have Don sign the papers,” said Haar. “After I told her that I had not, she let me know that Don passed away.”

With a document not yet legal, Bernice would be the heir to Don’s estate. “She came right out and told me that we know what he wanted to do, so let’s do it,” said Haar. With that, $400,000 was gifted to the Tripp Area Community Foundation and $400,000 was used to establish the Don Kennedy Memorial Scholarship Fund. These funds will directly benefit the Tripp Community and Tripp-Delmont High School students. The future for Tripp just got a lot brighter thanks to Donald Kennedy and his sister Bernice Peterson.

Meet Our Advisory Council

  • Bryan Bietz
  • Tim Mehlhaff
  • Jeff Kramer
  • Caleb Clements
  • John Friman
  • Mark Gemar
  • Ed Rembold

Support the Tripp area CSA Help the Tripp area thrive for generations to come.

Contact Information

P.O. Box 54
Tripp, SD 57376

Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in our foundation. If you have questions or comments about partnership opportunities, please let us know.