Mitzel Family Recognized for… | South Dakota Community Foundation

Mitzel Family Recognized for Generosity to Herreid Community

September 6, 2022 // Community Savings Account, Donors
Pictured left to right: HCF board members Beth Fjeldheim, Bruce Brandner, Kristie Goehring; Dennis Mitzel, Don Mitzel, HCF President Kevin Wientjes, SDCF Community Development Coordinator Jamie Farmen

The Herreid Community Foundation (HCF) and the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) recently presented Donald and Dennis Mitzel with the Hometown Hero award.

Donald Mitzel and Mitzel & Sons, Inc. recently established two endowment funds with the SDCF to benefit charitable causes in the Herreid area for years to come. Available funds will be distributed under recommendation of the HCF. The Mitzels created these endowments in memory of their late parents, Archie and Rita and Don’s late wife, Vicki.

“The Herreid Community Foundation is honored to partner with the Mitzels to grant funding to worthy causes in memory of their beloved parents and Vicki,” said Kevin Wientjes, HCF President. “We are grateful to Don and Dennis for their giving spirit.”

Dennis and Don Mitzel receive the SDCF Hometown Hero Award

No one knows a community better than those who call it home. Since 1987, the SDCF has had the privilege to collaborate with generous people wanting to give their neighbors a better place to call HOME. Our Hometown Heroes are a special group of people with a passion for helping communities grow and thrive.

The late Archie and Rita Mitzel called Herreid home for nearly 65 years where they farmed, ranched and raised their five children. Archie ensured his children were trained in the art of farming and raising livestock, and eventually one of Archie’s favorite activities would move from being in the field himself to watching his boys work the land as he had done. He was jokingly given the title “The Warden” by the boys and his employees.

Rita grew up in Herreid on her parents’ farm attending rural grade school and graduating from Herreid High School in 1946. While Archie and Rita owned the Herreid Sale Barn, Rita ran the Sale Barn Café. When she was not working, Rita was very active in the community. She was a dedicated member of St. Michael's Catholic Church. She taught Sunday School and was a member of the Altar Society. Rita, along with her son Rodney, made rosaries for many years that were shipped throughout the world.

The Herreid Community Foundation is honored to partner with the Mitzels to grant funding to worthy causes in memory of their beloved parents and Vicki," said Kevin Wientjes, HCF President.

Don’s late wife, Vicki, grew up in Mobridge. She and Don were married in 1981. She was a true animal lover and rescuer. Vicki loved and cared for many dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, goats, and any animal that crossed her path. She also enjoyed ceramics, making quilts for her daughters and grandchildren, crocheting, throwing horseshoes and horseback riding.

“The Mitzels have set a wonderful example for others in leaving a lasting legacy for the community they love,” said Jamie Farmen, SDCF Community Development Coordinator. “Our Legacy Society honors and recognizes those who have made significant contributions to their community through SDCF. We are so grateful for our donors and their efforts to make South Dakota a better place.”

To learn how you can create your charitable legacy or give to the HCF, please visit their site.

The Herreid Community Foundation was established in 1999 by a local advisory council in partnership with the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF). Their goal was to create a long-term funding source for charitable causes in the local area. With careful investment, the fund will continue to grow and enhance quality of life in the local area forever. This fund is one of 80 community savings accounts in partnership with SDCF. Since inception, the CSA has granted over $125,500 toward charitable causes in the local area. To learn more about the HCF, please visit

About SDCF

SDCF is a public non-profit organization established in 1987. SDCF, with offices in Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen administers over 1,100 funds benefiting hundreds of charitable organizations annually. The Foundation distributed approximately $18 million in grants in 2021 which made a tremendous difference in communities statewide. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors. If you have a specific cause you would like to support or would prefer to give for the general good of our state, please visit to learn more or call 605.224.1025.