An effort to provide financial assistance to western South Dakota ranchers who suffered damaging losses during an October blizzard has raised more than $2 million. And the money keeps coming in.
The latest boost to the Rancher's Relief Fund came on Monday from motor-vehicle dealers across the state.
The South Dakota Auto Dealers Association pledged a match of up to $20,000 for donations by its individual members. The association got that and more, raising a total of $63,700
"This blizzard didn't cover a lot of geography and yet the devastation was horrendous. And we had dealers from all over this state, from 300 or 400 miles away, that took out their checkbook and wrote a check because it was a South Dakotan that was affected,” South Dakota Auto Dealers president Myron Rau said.
Rancher's Relief Fund managers have begun the difficult job of distributing money to ranchers. They say they try to direct the initial payments toward those who suffered the greatest losses and need the most help.