Welcome to Black Hills Area Community Foundation

Connecting People Who Care to Causes that Matter.

The BHACF provides philanthropic leadership to build community endowments to invest in people and solutions that positively impact the Black Hills area.

The Black Hills Area Community Foundation invests in the community’s future by providing financial support through scholarships to deserving students. These funds provide support for individuals pursuing training or educational opportunities.

  • Harold and George “Elbert” Newton Memorial Music Scholarship

    The Newton family moved to Spearfish in the 1800′s and its involvement in music goes back many generations. Our great-grandfather, Francis M. Newton, played the fiddle and our grandfather, George W. Newton, directed a local band at the Matthews Opera House in Spearfish in the 1920′s. Our grandmother, Bertha Newton, taught piano out of her house. The Newton family home is still standing next to the home of Josef Meier on Meier Street in Spearfish. The Passion Play is located on a former apple orchard sold by our grandmother to Joseph Meier. George and Bertha Newton had two children – Harold, born in 1912, and George (known to friends and family as “Elbert”), born in 1916. Both Harold and Elbert attended Spearfish High School, both were in the high school band and both were taught music by Charles MacClung, the band director at Spearfish High School. Harold played the trumpet and Elbert played trombone. After graduating from high school, the two brothers formed a band called “We Five” and traveled throughout South Dakota and Wyoming in the mid-1930′s performing at various venues. Harold married Margaret Motley, whom he met while Margaret was attending Black Hills Normal School (now Black Hills State University) and eventually settled down in Rapid City. Harold raised all of his children to love music and to play a musical instrument. Harold lived a long and productive life and passed away in 1987. Elbert moved to Massachusetts, continued his music career, and was called to service in World War II. While in the service, Elbert married Marie Chasse. Elbert was severely wounded on D-Day during the invasion of France. He returned to Massachusetts, continued his music studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, but eventually succumbed to his war injuries in 1948. The Harold and George “Elbert” Memorial Music Scholarship has been created by the children of Harold and George “Elbert” to honor their respective fathers, to show their appreciation for the role that Spearfish High School had in instilling an appreciation of music to their fathers, and to assist a student at Spearfish High School in furthering his or her education. Applications available through the Spearfish High School counseling office.
  • Arête Morsching Scholarships

    The Arête Scholarships in Memory of Kevin J. Morsching are awarded to: A graduating senior from St. Thomas More High School who exemplifies the principal of Arête (excellence). See story at Scholarship Recipient Stories. A graduating senior or returning college student who plays American Legion Baseball for the Post 22 Baseball Program of Rapid City and exemplifies the principal of Arête (excellence). A current student of South Dakota State University who plays baseball for the University and exemplifies the principal of Arête (excellence). Contact the Foundation for more information and applications.
  • Sarah Stevens Memorial Scholarship

    The Sarah Stevens Memorial Scholarship was created to provide a $500 scholarship to a cum laude female graduate of Stevens High School who will study counseling or medicine. Applications are available at the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce at http://www.rapidcitychamber.com/about/awards-scholarships or contact Debbie Leber at 605-718-8450 for more information.
  • South Dakota Engineering Society Scholarship

    The South Dakota Engineering Society Scholarship was created to provide a scholarship for engineering student enrolled at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Please visit the South Dakota Engineering Society webpage for more information about this scholarship (http://www.sdes.org/page-1279270)
  • Rapid City Foundation Scholarship

    The Rapid City Foundation Scholarship applicants must be a resident of the Rapid City area and either a graduating senior in a Rapid City area high school pursuing further education in Fall 2017; or has lived in the Rapid City area for the past twelve months and will be enrolled in the Fall 2017 as a student in a Rapid City area post-secondary educational institution. Please refer to the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce at http://www.rapidcitychamber.com/about/awards-scholarships or contact Debbie Leber at 605-718-8450 for more information.
  • Hunter J. Lewis Memorial Scholarship

    The Hunter J. Lewis Memorial Scholarship applicants must be a graduating senior from either Custer County, South Dakota or Campbell County, Wyoming. Applicants must have maintained a GPA of 3.0 or better, exhibit good citizenship in school activities and their community and must attend an institution of highter education either 2 or 4 year college/university or a vocational school. Please refer to the school counselor at Custer County or Campbell County High Schools for applications.
  • The Walt Award

    The scholarship is in honor of Dr. Walter Neiswanger, who through his generosity and community development work left as lasting imprint on the lives of many people in the Midwest region. The scholarship is a one-year, $1,000 scholarship renewable each year for up to four years. Applicants must be a graduating high school senior from or a student currently enrolled in a post-secondary education institute and a relative of a South Dakota nonprofit sector employee or a for-profit employees of a South Dakota company that serves the nonprofit sector. Preference will be given to relatives of current employees of for-profit companies that work in the nonprofit sector. Please contact the Foundation for more information and applications.