A $1 million cake will be served Friday during Larimore Days in Larimore, N.D.

The cake didn't cost $1 million and it's not made of cash or even chocolate coins.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

It's symbolic, a $1 million toast to identical twin bachelor brothers Floyd Earl and Lloyd Myrl Sickles, who left a trust to benefit the community after their deaths, which occurred about nine months apart some 20 years ago.

The Sickles Brothers Trust now has given away a total of $1 million to local nonprofit organizations, according to Alden Lieberg, president of Larimore Community Entertainers and who serves on the trust board.

"It's really fun serving on a board where your job is to give away money," he said.

The cake will be served at 5 p.m. at the Larimore Museum as part of an annual Larimore Days ice cream social. Organizers figure it'll be enough to feed about 500 people. The social coincides with the Larimore Fire Department's pulled pork feed.

Love of theater

The Sickles brothers, who went by Earl and Myrl, were entertainers, working together for years in New York City. When they retired from full-time work on the professional stage in the mid-1950s, they moved to Larimore, where they inherited their grandfather's farm.

They built homes and owned a lumber yard and a restaurant in Larimore.

But their hearts were in the arts.

They saved and renovated Larimore's Avalon Theater, which was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. They also fostered a lively arts and theater organization that continues to thrive in the community today.

Benefactors

When the brothers died, the nine quarters of land -- 1,440 acres -- they owned became part of the trust. The board gives away the annual profits each year, according to Lieberg.

In the early 1990s, that often amounted to $25,000 to $30,000 a year. These days, it's $80,000 to $90,000 annually, he said.

Larimore Community Entertainers and the Avalon have been one of the largest benefactors.

Last year, the trust contributed $55,000 to a $150,000 project to renovate Larimore's public swimming pool.

But most of the allocations are smaller gifts, given to a variety of local causes, from the school district and fire department to a local cemetery association and the museum.

Call Bonham at (701) 780-1110; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1110; or send email to kbonham@gfherald.com.