Black Hills State University’s Retired Senior Volunteer Program recognized its volunteers for over 52,000 hours of service during its annual recognition luncheon at the Deadwood Gulch Convention Center. Over 200 RSVP members and participating agencies attended the event in celebration of the over 450 volunteers who serve in six area South Dakota counties.

The Black Hills State University’s Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) recently recognized local volunteers for their over 52,000 hours of service. Last week, over 200 RSVP volunteer members and partnering agencies attended the event held at the Deadwood Gulch Convention Center, celebrating the service provided by BHSU RSVP volunteers during the past year.

Federal, state and local officials joined RSVP staff in recognizing the contributions of BHSU RSVP’s over 450 member volunteers who serve in six western South Dakota counties: Harding, Haakon, Perkins, Lawrence, Butte and Meade.

Representative Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin and Senator John Thune were represented by Kate Kelly and Sandy Massey, respectively. Both Kelly and Massey read letters of appreciation from the legislators. Kelly also read a letter of thanks from Senator Tim Johnson. Governor Mike Rounds submitted a letter of appreciation that was read at the event, and Representatives Charles Turbiville and Jacqueline Sly were in attendance to show their support for the volunteers.

Attendees were entertained by guest speaker Sheila Letcher from Mitchell. Letcher presented her take on senior life with, “Old Age Ain’t for Sissies.” Letcher kept the audience in stitches with her wonderfully humorous personal anecdotes of life’s little surprises according to Chris McCurdy, BHSU RSVP coordinator.

RSVP, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, has been a fixture in Western South Dakota since 1973. RSVP’s purpose is to help non-profit and service organizations tap into the wealth of experience that senior volunteers have to offer. RSVP also seeks to give senior volunteers rewarding and interesting volunteer opportunities. Whether it is delivering meals-on-wheels, reading with children in elementary schools, or serving in local museums and chambers of commerce, RSVP volunteers are a vital source of volunteer service.

RSVP membership is open to all people 55 years of age and older. Interested volunteers should contact BHSU RSVP at 605-642-5198 or 1-877-293-0039 (toll-free).