Larry Lyngstad, a member of the Pierre-Fort Pierre Rotary Club, has been awarded Rotary International’s highest honor for individual Rotarians.  He received a crystal “Service Above Self Award” and pin from the Board of Directors of Rotary International.  Only 150 Rotarians each year are awarded the Service Above Self award.
Lyngstad received a card with the award which read, “Through your compassion, enthusiasm, and commitment to service, you represent the best that Rotary has to offer.  We thank you for your dedication to the ideals of Rotary, and we congratulate you on receiving this prestigious honor.”
Lyngstad is the first individual in District 5610, which includes 40 clubs across South Dakota, as well as clubs in southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa, to ever receive the award.  He was nominated by Ina Winter, who serves as District 5610 Governor for 2019-20.  Her term ends June 30, 2020.
Past Pierre-Fort Pierre Rotary Club president Mike Gibson said, “Larry Lyngstad exemplifies volunteer leadership because he is always seeking to help and to build up others.  Larry actually is that leader who, rather than be in direct leadership, seeks to serve and to see others succeed.”
Lyngstad, who retired in 2003 after serving over 15 years as the Executive Director for the South Dakota Real Estate Commission, has held a variety of leadership roles with his local club and with District 5610.
For each of the last seven years the Pierre-Fort Pierre Rotary Club has hosted the “Holiday Jam” concert during Christmas season, raising more than $10,000 per year for the Boys and Girls Club.  Instigator and chair from the beginning has been Larry Lyngstad.
“When the 2011 flood hit the Pierre-Fort Pierre area, Larry Lyngstad was front and center, moving sandbags and helping in every corner of our communities,” said Ed Jacobson, local Rotarian.
Lyngstad has been a local “Reading Buddy” and SD Discovery Center volunteer.  He served on the Board of the South Dakota State Arts Council, chaired the SD Friends of Public Broadcasting Board, serves on two church boards, directs a church choir and a men’s vocal group, and sings in a quartet.  He also plays in the community band.
“’Keep your eye on the prize,’ is Larry’s volunteer mantra.  He is a servant leader of the first order.  When he agrees to help, it is with a full understanding of what the charity will get out of it.  He sees the big picture and works until the job is done. 
“Setbacks don’t slow him down.  His dedication and perseverance are legendary in his community.  He gives and gives and gives – his time, his talents, and his treasures – with no desire to be recognized for his efforts,” wrote District Governor Ina Winter.