DAR Foundation grant to help in sharing local Vietnam veterans story

A grant from the Sioux Falls-based Mary Chilton DAR Foundation will help the South Dakota Air and Space Foundation preserve and tell Mahrt’s fascinating story.

SIOUX FALLS, S. D. — The South Dakota Air and Space Foundation was recently awarded a grant from the Mary Chilton DAR Foundation to help tell the story of Ret. Col. Marty Mahrt.

Mahrt, an accomplished U.S. Air Force pilot from Custer, was shot down and rescued in 1966 during the Vietnam war. Years later, as the war drew to a close in 1975, he also helped evacuate the U.S. Embassy in Saigon.

“It’s really a cool story about rescue, about faith, and about hope, because his rescue involved helicopters and air support airplanes that were willing to go deep into North Vietnam to cover his rescue,” said John Mollison, who handles communications for the Air and Space Foundation. “The cool thing about him is that he thought so much of his service that he stayed in Vietnam, and he was one of the very last Americans to leave the U.S. Embassy with the fall of Saigon.”

Mollison, who will be producing a documentary, said he is thankful for the $11,500 grant and how it will enable their foundation to preserve and publicize Mahrt’s contributions to our nation.

The DAR Foundation is affiliated with the Mary Chilton Chapter, NSDAR, which is short for the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. DAR strives to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who gave their lives and fortunes for American Independence. The Mary Chilton DAR Foundation was established in 1987 with a bequest from Dorothy Day Davenport, a longtime DAR member, community leader, and former president of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

For the year, the DAR Foundation has awarded more than $78,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations. Jan. 5, 2021 will be the deadline for the organization’s next round of grants. To be considered, applications must be received before the deadline, said Judy Goetz, who chairs the Foundation’s Grants Committee.

The DAR Foundation currently awards grants in three categories: Regular Grants ($1,000 to $15,000), Mini-Grants (for up to $1,000), and Schoolroom Grants (for up to $500 for educational projects in public schools with fewer than 300 students.) Regular Grants are awarded to support causes such as education, patriotism, and historic preservation.

The DAR Foundation prefers that Regular Grants be used for specific projects and not be used to partly fund other programs. Some changes in grants are being made for 2021 and will be announced soon.

Goetz encourages nonprofit organizations from around South Dakota to check out grant criteria and apply. Forms and filing information are available online.

Written inquiries about grant policies and procedures may be mailed to: Mary Chilton DAR Foundation, P.O. Box 90716, Sioux Falls, S.D. 57109-0716. Prospective grant applicants also may contact Grants Committee Chair Judy Goetz at jgoetz6970@gmail.com or (605) 413-3798.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News