Chamber and seniors unite

Leslie Silverman

With a continued lack of volunteers, Keystone’s major nonprofits, the Keystone Museum and the Keystone Senior Center, are looking at creative ways to continue to play a vital role in the community.

The museum, which would normally close its doors in September, will stay open until the last week in October.

“We felt that since we opened late and did have limited hours it was necessary,” said Keystone Area Historical Society Board president Jon Veltman.

According to Veltman, the museum’s new director, Casey Sullivan, has “made a very positive impact on the museum.”

Under Sullivan’s direction, the museum has reopened the basement, which houses displays on mining, historical Keystone and the oldest living carver of Mount Rushmore, Nick Clifford, who passed away last November.

The museum has earned 501(c) 3 status, allowing it to apply for more grant money. In addition, the town approved its budget of $20,000.

While continuing to look for people to volunteer, Veltman is excited about 2021.

“I’m hoping we will have a banner year in 2021 with the Carrie Ingalls 150 plus 1 celebration, the school reunion and many additional grant opportunities,” he said.

Veltman, who is also president of the Keystone Senior Center, is forging a new relationship with the Keystone Area Chamber of Commerce to share the senior center building.

“The Keystone Chamber of Commerce will also base their office out of the senior center and share utility cost,” Veltman said.

Robin Pladson, who currently heads the chamber of commerce, will also work part time at the senior center. The chamber board voted to negotiate an agreement with the senior center at its last board meeting.

“Our goal is to have (Pladson) be at the senior center by the first of January,” said Trevor Bryan, who sits on the chamber board.

“If we can help the seniors in any way, we should,” said chamber board member Ann Thompson.

Veltman sees this as a win-win situation for both organizations.

“We’re hoping it works out for the best,” Veltman said. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction for the town of Keystone. I’m very happy the Board of Trustees was behind this idea and supported it financially.”

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