Remembering Besserud’s generous donations | News, Sports, Jobs


From the earliest days of our community, the Magic City has a rich history of philanthropic giving. You could drive Main Street and Central Avenue and the names on the storefronts were many of the very names that established this story.

Today, we can drive those same streets along Broadway and 20th Avenue, to name a few, and the names that adorn these businesses help continue to build Minot’s continuum of giving. But not all philanthropic giving comes with a press release, a big announcement, or a business owner.

Some of the largest and most significant gifts that have been given to many organizations in Minot have come anonymously or after the donor’s death in the form of a bequest.

This is the case with the Arnold I. Besserud endowment to the Minot Area Community Foundation and it is its story. Mr. Besserud lived a very modest and modest life. Graduating from Minot High School in 1937, he attended college for two years, then spent his career traveling the world, continuing his vocation as a civil engineer with the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Mr. Besserud lived humbly and diligently invested and, like many of them who grew up in the days of depression, the experience of living with so little was a great motivator. As he grew older, he established his network of friends through the local soup kitchens and pantries in Minot. He participated in their programs, sharing meals and creating lasting friendships. In his later years, Mr. Besserud volunteered in these same organizations to lend a hand to all those who gave of their time to help those in need. Upon his death, Mr. Besserud asked the Minot Region Community Foundation to ensure that his legacy continues by helping those most in need first and second, meeting other priority needs. of the community identified by the Foundation.

This year we are celebrating 10 years since the creation of the Arnold I. Besserud Fund at the Minot Area Community Foundation and to date the Besserud donation is the largest in the history of the Foundation. Since its inception, the fund has awarded more than $ 1.45 million to food and humanitarian programs in Minot and surrounding areas. This fund helped new soup kitchens open and others rebuilt after the devastating flood of 2011. It helped local pantries continue to purchase food to feed families in need. Other community programs this donation has supported include Men’s Winter Shelter, Sanctuary Sober Living Home, Meals on Wheels and Backpack Friends, and many more.

The Board of Directors and staff of the Minot Region Community Foundation are honored by the privilege that Mr. Besserud and all of our donors have granted us. We continually strive to ensure that the intent of these donations is met with every grant application we receive.

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