MOORHEAD — By making a lasting impact at a school that taught and provided him so much, Larry Dahlsad is leaving a legacy that will last long after his time on earth — and he's doing it largely with his toy collection.
After graduating from Oak Grove High School in 1971, Dahlsad attended Moorhead State College, now Minnesota State University Moorhead, to pursue a degree in accounting. Upon his graduation in 1975, he began a two-year stint working for the state of Minnesota before his return to the Fargo-Moorhead area and MSUM — this time as an employee of the college instead of a student.
Dahlsad moved back to his family farm in Georgetown, Minn., and fell in love with farming, according to an obituary published in The Forum shortly after his death in April 2018. He enjoyed collecting and amassed a treasure trove of toy cars and farming equipment that would rival any antique store.
It's that love of collecting, coupled with his Dragon pride, that led to his most generous contribution to the school — a contribution that represents the second largest gift to the MSUM Foundation in its 50-year history.
More than 20,000 of his items are now available for bidding in an online auction, meaning Dahlsad is posthumously benefiting his alma mater more than a year after his death.
Featuring rare farm toys made by Ertl and First Gear, as well as Hot Wheels, Match Box cars, die-cast toys and farm trucks, Dahlsad's estate will be used to fund scholarships at MSUM's Paseka School of Business.
"This is part of a very significant gift to the university," says Gary Hugo, MSUM's vice president for university advancement. "It means a lot to the students. It gives them an opportunity for increased access, and the thing I hear a lot from students is it allows them to focus on their studies."
The scholarships are available to junior and senior business majors at MSUM.
"These scholarships for students mean they don't have to have that second or third job to afford school," Hugo says. "The money will free up time for them, which is incredibly important."
There are six online auctions run through McLaughlin Auctioneers LLC of Dilworth, Minn., that will take place June 9-16. All of the bidding takes place online.
In addition to the online auction, Pifer's Land Auction is also working to auction off Dahlsad's farmstead beginning at noon June 22 at the farmstead, 17614 60th St. N., Georgetown.
"(Dahlsad) has been incredibly generous and his family has been great," Hugo says. "They've been so good to the foundation and to the university."