Avera donates $250,000 to new veterans cemetery

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - A new Veterans Cemetery in Sioux Falls is one step closer to construction, thanks to Avera Health.

Wednesday morning, Avera presented a check for $250,000 to the veterans cemetery at the Paralyzed Veterans of America Office.

For 20 years, the state's Veterans Cemetery has been in the works. Various groups and organizations have worked hard to finalize the cemetery, with no luck.

But Wednesday morning, Avera Health brought life to the project by agreeing to donate $50,000 every year for the next five years.

KSFY News spoke with Terry Paulsen, the President of the South Dakota Veterans Council about this donation.

"Avera Health stepped up right away from the get-go and said that they are going to contributed to the fund, and they sure have, and it's a great start to the endowment fund that we have agreed to establish," he said.

The construction has not yet started, but they are currently in the process of submitting an application for a federal grant.

That grant is going to be for $6 million. Paulsen said they are happy that the families of veterans will have the option to be buried in eastern South Dakota, which will allow their family members to visit.

Sanford Health and the American Legion have also donated $50,000 a piece. Disabled American Veterans has donated $25,000.