From Humble Beginnings to a Lasting Legacy

Leo and Hazel Reppert

Leo and Hazel Reppert

Leo and Hazel Reppert came from humble beginnings.

After they married in 1936, they began working in Sioux Falls — saving up for a shared dream of one day owning their own farm. Their hard work paid off and eventually, Leo and Hazel purchased farmland south of Baltic, South Dakota. Over the next 40 years, they worked together to build successful hog, dairy and cattle operations.

Having no children of their own, after Leo passed away Hazel made the decision to leave a portion of their estate to charity.

After Hazel’s passing, the couple’s farm — which was located at what is now the intersection of Benson Road and Marion Road — was sold and its proceeds were divided among their beneficiaries — one of which was the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation.

Today, their legacy — the Leo and Hazel Reppert Endowment at the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation — provides annual distributions to a number of local nonprofits, including The Banquet, an organization which held special meaning to both Leo and Hazel who, their friends said, “understood what it was to be hungry.”

The annual distribution from the Reppert Endowment provides important annual support for The Banquet — ensuring its ability to provide daily meals for individuals and families in need, said Executive Director Tamera Jerke-Liesinger. The support also allows The Banquet team to focus on advancing its mission to nourish a growing community. In 2018, The Banquet served nearly 200,000 meals — more than 27,000 of which were served to children under 12 years old.

“Yearly financial gifts, like the ones we receive from the Reppert Endowment, are critical to keeping The Banquet doors open. These funds are even more important now with our expansion into northwest Sioux Falls where we will be serving five evening meals to hundreds of families living in poverty in the Hayward neighborhood,” said Tamera Jerke-Liesinger.

Mary Kolsrud, vice president for philanthropy, said the ability to help a donor establish an endowment that carries out his or her legacy while also supporting a local nonprofit is “beyond heartwarming.”

“At the Community Foundation, the magic happens when we are able to help donors create their legacies by crafting a plan to help them support their favorite charities, now and far into the future. When we get to align interests with needs, and all the pieces come together, it’s a beautiful testament to what makes this city so great.”

What do you want your legacy to be? Contact the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation today to learn more about planned giving and for help in creating your legacy.