Post Eagle Newspaper


Jul 13, 2024

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Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation
Announces Major Gift

SOUTH DAKOTA – The Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation Board of Directors announced today acceptance of a new $10 million matching grant gift from South Dakota philanthropist T. Denny Sanford.

The gift follows a $10 million grant received from Mr. Sanford in 2007, with the matching funds needed to receive it a million at a time successfully raised in full by 2011.  In expressing the Board’s appreciation for Mr. Sanford’s generous support, Board Chair John Rozell called it a monumental opportunity for the Foundation to be able to continue the major advancements made on the massive mountain carving in recent years.

Sanford’s second gift is also a challenge grant with a dollar for dollar match requirement, all earmarked for the mountain carving.  “I have deep admiration for Ruth and the Ziolkowski family and what they have accomplished through pure determination and perseverance,” said Mr. Sanford. “My desire is to see the horse’s head finished and I am pleased with the progress being made toward achieving that goal.”

In photo on right: Ruth Ziolkowski and T. Denny Sanford

2012_9_Denny_SanfordforwebThe vision for the mountain sculpture was created by Ruth’s husband, sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, at the request of Chief Henry Standing Bear.  It is being carved in the round and is 641 feet in length and 563 feet in height, 8 feet taller than the Washington Monument.  The completed face of Crazy Horse is nearly 90 feet tall and the horse’s head alone will be 219 feet tall.

Sanford first shared his intentions with Ruth Ziolkowski, Chief Executive Officer of the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, in a recent visit to the Memorial.  Also present was her daughter Jadwiga, the Foundation’s Executive Vice-President; Laurie Becvar, the Foundation’s President and Chief Operating Officer; and Heidi Ziolkowski, daughter of Monique Ziolkowski and Ruth’s granddaughter.

“Denny is a dear friend and we treasure that most of all,” said Ruth.  “His generosity, combined with all the match contributions received from our many friends from throughout the country, is making tremendous difference.  It has allowed us to address the many very detailed and costly geo-technical aspects of carving the mountain before additional final finish work could be done,” she stated.  Due to the impact of Sanford’s 2007 matching gift, finish work has now begun on Crazy Horse’s hand and will continue on down through the horse’s mane and head.

Crazy Horse Memorial is a non-profit, educational and cultural project being created in the Black Hills of South Dakota to honor all Indians of North America.  The project is funded entirely by admission fees and donations, no government funds are involved.  More information about Crazy Horse Memorial and the Sanford gift can be found at