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90-year-old quietly donates $3M to state park, other programs

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A Minnesota man who donated $3 million to various causes in recent weeks says he's "just paying back" what he can.

“I was just a farm boy,” Lloyd Paulson, 90, told the Rapid City Journal. “I never went to college. I was a ‘C’ student in high school. But the good Lord has been good to me, and I’m just paying back what I can.”

In his latest bout of generosity, he donated $1 million apiece to an aquatics center in his hometown of Parkers Prairie, Minnesota; South Dakota's Custer State Park; and Youth and Family Services in Rapid City, South Dakota, reports note.

The gift to Custer State Park is through his and his late wife's foundation, the Beverly and Lloyd Paulson Family Donor Advised Fund. It will be used to build a new visitor center at the park, a news release notes.

“He’s just a very solid, genuine human being who cares about others and is gratified by how life treated him,” Dick Brown, co-development director of the South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation told the Rapid City Journal. “And now he thinks it’s important to make a difference by sharing with others.”

Paulson, a farmer, started working at North Dakota-based Scheels All Sports in 1957 for some winter work, eventually becoming an executive with the company before retiring in 1980, Forum News reported.

He uses his resources from his time at Scheels, as well as forgoing some luxuries – he's never owned a new car – to fund his donations, Forum News noted.

"It's very rewarding for you. It makes your life worth living," he told Forum News of his volunteer work.

Over the years, Paulson has quietly donated both his time and money to various causes – both locally and internationally. He's made headlines from time to time, like when he received an award for his generosity or when he protected his property from the 2009 floods.

He's not sure how much money he has donated over the years, but says it's in the millions.

Among his altruistic efforts: he set up funds for Parkers Prairie students pursing secondary education, donated money for community programs and improvements in the Ottertail County town, he's active with the Moorhead chapter of the Kiwanis, and he established an endowment fund with the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, reports note.

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