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Philanthropist Sanford donates $10 million to Crazy Horse Memorial

CRAZY HORSE, S.D. — South Dakota philanthropist T. Denny Sanford is giving $10 million to the Crazy Horse memorial monument in the Black Hills.

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The Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation board of directors announced the acceptance of the matching grant Thursday.

Sanford also made a $10 million matching grant in 2007. Matching funds needed to be raised in full by 2011. Sanford’s second gift is also a challenge grant, with a dollar for dollar match requirement, all earmarked for the mountain carving of the Sioux Indian leader.

The vision for the mountain sculpture was created by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, at the request of Chief Henry Standing Bear. It was started in 1948. The carving of Crazy Horse on horseback is to be 641 feet long and 563 feet high — 8 feet taller than the Washington Monument. The completed face of Crazy Horse is nearly 90 feet tall, and the horse’s head alone will be 219 feet tall.

“My desire is to see the horse’s head finished and I am pleased with the progress being made toward achieving that goal,” Sanford said in a news release.

Ziolkowski died in 1982, but his wife, Ruth, continues to be involved in the project.

Crazy Horse Memorial is a nonprofit organization, with the project funded entirely by admission fees and donations. No government funds are involved, the news release said.

Sanford amassed a fortune in the credit card industry and has made numerous philanthropic donations, including $400 million to Sanford Health in 2007.

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