Wayne Stuwe first met the staff of the Catholic Community Foundation for Eastern South Dakota as a volunteer running a spotlight for a Christmas concert. Foundation President Mark Conzemius and other staffers were in Hoven, S.D., several years ago to help St. Anthony parish produce their own Christmas concert, which became known as “Christmas on the Prairie”. The annual event brings professional soloists and symphony musicians to the small town in north central South Dakota. A few years later, when Stuwe and his wife, Janine, decided to set up a family endowment, they turned to the Catholic Community Foundation.
They took advantage of a match program the foundation offered in commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the Diocese of Sioux Falls. “We hadn’t thought about it really, but the matching grant made it a little more enticing,” Wayne Stuwe said. The Stuwe’s named their local parish, St. Anthony of Padua, in Hoven, as well as seminarian education and youth ministry as the beneficiaries of their endowment. The Stuwe’s had taught CCD classes in their home for several years and enjoyed the experience. They hope their gift will assist their parish in continuing the classes and other ministries. Wayne has served on the St. Anthony parish council and both he and his wife have volunteered for a variety of other activities in the parish of about 300 families.
Conzemius said the foundation helps individuals like the Stuwe’s “be good stewards of the gifts that God has given them.” There are 746 permanent named endowments, like the Stuwe’s, administered by the CCFESD, totaling $55,703,044. All of them benefit ministries determined by the donors, Conzemius said. The Stuwe’s believe they have a responsibility to support the ministries of the Catholic Church and this endowment embodies their gratitude and commitment. “We always felt we needed to support more than just our local parish, but also the diocesan church,” said Wayne. Conzemius said the Catholic Community Foundation provides many opportunities for individuals to do that. “For those who care about Catholic values, the Catholic Community Foundation is a great vehicle for their charitable giving,” he said.