Bad River Senior Citizen’s Center chosen as Hometown Hero
Wed, 10/25/2017 - 2:21pm admin
Members of the local Modern Woodmen of America have chosen the Bad River Senior Citizen’s Center, Philip, as a Hometown Hero.
The center was honored through Modern Woodmen’s Hometown Hero program for having a place that offers usage to the community, a place to have coffee in the mornings, and a place to gather for anniversaries, card playing, birthday parties, luncheons and more.
Members of Philip Modern Woodmen Chapter 12888 presented a certificate and a $100 award grant to the Bad River Senior Citizen’s Center.
“Volunteers form the foundation of a strong community,” said Don Haynes, local Modern Woodmen volunteer leader. “Modern Woodmen’s Hometown Hero program gives us the chance to thank those individuals and organizations who selflessly give their time and gifts to make the world a better place.”
For more information or to get involved, contact Haynes at 605-859-2778 or at djhaynes19745@ gmail.com.
In 1973, the Federated Women’s Club of Philip, with financial assistance from the Office of Aging, created the Bad River Senior Citizen’s Center. The first organizational meeting was held in the Haakon County Courthouse, Feb. 13, with 30 people attending and Nettie Ellis as chairman. E.C. Anderson was elected president, O.M. Kiel vice president, Lee Vaught second vice president, Eva Shoemaker secretary, and Margaret Baker treasurer. The four other directors were Harold Ferguson, Laura Eymer, Leo Staben and Hilda Crawford.
Thelma Heltzel is the only member left of the original 229 charter members. Hans Hanson sold the organization its current building, which was paid off in 1976. The center has been self-sufficient since that time. In 2000, the building received a new roof and again in 2013 part of it was reroofed.
The center publishes a monthly newsletter and calendar of events. Originally, membership dues were two dollars per year. Since then, they have increased to five dollars per year. The center does receive some memorials to help pay utilities and upkeep.
According to activities directors Bill and Penny Stahl, the center is one of the busiest places in town. It is open for card players most days and coffee drinkers in the mornings. Depending on the group and time of the week, the usual cards include bridge, whist, rummy and pitch. Other groups and organizations also meet and hold fundraisers there, such as the Community Betterment Committee, Masonic and Knights of Columbus breakfasts, AARP, community blood drives, Relay For Life and others. Family gatherings for birthdays and anniversaries are often held at the center. Walking classes have occasionally been based out of the center. Fundraising lunches are held to support the center and help pay the numerous expenses.
Currently, the board of directors consists of Phil Pearson, president, Janice Fitzgerald, vice president, Marion Matt, treasurer, and Thelma Heltzel, secretary. The other directors are Gary Stephenson, Jerry Neville, Kathy Gittings, Penny and Bill Stahl. The Stahls are also overall managers. The board meets on a monthly basis.
The quilting group that meets at the center has now completed several hundred jean quilts. These are donated to veterans’ homes in Hot Springs, Fort Meade and Scottsbluff. All volunteer time is recorded for the Black Hills State University’s Retired Service Volunteer Program. The RSVP uses volunteer hours to help leverage grants and other fundings for the area.
Betty Smith has offered free blood pressure checks the second Monday of each month at the center for approximately 35 years. When she is not available, Penny Stahl fills in. Over the last couple of years, the board and membership has concentrated on making improvements to the building both inside and out so people can better enjoy the center.
They invite anyone who is interested to talk to any of the members or come down to the center and see what’s happening. The center is there for your enjoyment. If families or organizations are looking for a nice place for a get together, please contact the Stahls or the senior citizen’s center at 859-2653.