Trail of Governors Foundation receives CARES Relief Act grant

PIERRE, S.D. (DRG News) – The Trail of Governors Foundation, based in Pierre, has received a $10,000 CARES Relief Act grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council.

The money is being allocated to payment of the artists commissioned to create the next three statues for the trail. These statues cost $72,000 each and were to be unveiled in June 2020, although the plan was changed due to COVID-19. The statues are funded largely by donations.

Foundation board member Chuck Schroyer says they found it challenging for potential donors to come up with statue sponsorship funds during this time, thus they are particularly thankful to the Humanities Council for the grant.

Statues for South Dakota Govs. Charles Sheldon, Coe Crawford and Carl Gunderson, the state’s 2nd, 6th and 11th governors, are now planned to be unveiled and installed on the trail in June 2021.

The three statues being created will join 25 already on the trail, beginning at the Legion Cabin by Lake Sharpe, through downtown Pierre and winding around the Capitol grounds. Following the 2021 statues, just three former governor statues will remain to be commissioned to complete the trail.

Those interested in donating to the project can learn more or donate online at Contributions of any amount are welcome and all donors are listed on the website.

The 2021 statues’ sculptors are James Michael Maher, Lee Leuning, Sherri Treeby, and James Van Nuys. The TOG Foundation’s board is made up of seven volunteers.