Newsletter Archive

Annual Report




Annual Meeting Showcase Accomplishments of 2016

Society President Judy Allen and Executive Director Diana Nielsen Saathoff reported that the Society had contributed approximately $650,000 to Mount Rushmore in FY 2015-2016. They also reported on key highlights of the year and presented Friend of the Faces Awards to Carolyn Mollers, Ruth Samuelsen, as well as Bob & Sheila Mudlin and Brad Anderson of Presidential Parking, Inc. Find out more . . .

Mount Rushmore Society Receives Black Hills Badlands & Lakes Tourism Association 2016 Special Achievement Award

South Dakota’s Black Hills and Badlands Tourism Association (BHB) presented the 2016 Special Achievement Award to the Mount Rushmore Society (Society) on October 26
during the BHB’s awards luncheon. This award was given in appreciation for the Society’s efforts in providing awareness of the 75th anniversary of the completion of Mount Rushmore and taking the lead in promoting this important anniversary. Find out more . . .

Mount Rushmore Society Hosts Free Find Your Park Festival August 20

Sponsored by the Mount Rushmore Society, the Find Your Park Festival will be held on Saturday, August 20, 2016 from 10 am – 2 pm in Rapid City’s Main Street Square in honor of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service and the 75th anniversary of the completion of Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The event is free and open to the public. The event will consist of over 20 booths that will educate the public about parks in the Black Hills. Read more...

Motor Marc Art to Unveil Original 75th Anniversary Mount Rushmore Iron Art to Mount Rushmore Society for Online Auction

Marc Lacourciere of Motor Marc Art will unveil a piece of original art, entitled Monumental Pride, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the completion of Mount Rushmore on Sunday, August 7, 2016, at 2 pm at Black Hills Harley Davidson at his gallery booth located near the entrance of the store. The piece will be part of an online auction between August 7 and October 1, 2016, benefiting the activities of the Mount Rushmore Society. Read more . . .

Society Celebrates 20-Year Impact of Operating Mount Rushmore Parking Concession

Over twenty years ago, then Mount Rushmore National Memorial Superintendent Dan Wenk presented the Mount Rushmore Society (Society) board of directors with a challenge. The group had already raised $25 million for the upgrade of the facilities at Mount Rushmore, but a larger parking facility at Mount Rushmore was needed and the National Park Service needed help.

With great courage and vision, the Society board agreed to take out a $17 million loan to finance, construct and continue the operation of the parking garage, which increased parking spaces at Mount Rushmore from 500 to 1200. The agreement was made under a 20-year concessions contract with the National Park Service (NPS) which ends October 15, 2016. The Society officially paid off the loan in 2015 and will turn over the privately funded, debt-free facility to the NPS in October. Read more . . .

Society Recognizes Leroy Ketel and 1995-1996 Board with Friend of the Faces Awards

On January 15, 2016, the Mount Rushmore Society held an Annual Meeting in which 2015 highlights were presented and two Friend of the Faces awards were announced. Read more about these highlights, the volunteers recognized and about the new 2016 board of directors.

Mount Rushmore Society Wins Prestigious Governor's Award for History

The South Dakota State Historical Society presented the Mount Rushmore Society with a Governor’s Award for History on Saturday, April 30, during its annual history conference in Pierre. Shebby Lee of Rapid City, Amber Nash of Waubay, Chuck Vollan of Brookings and the Verendrye Museum’s “Bring it Home” Committee of Fort Pierre also received the award. The Society was recognized for our consistent efforts in preserving state history as it pertains to Mount Rushmore.

Mount Rushmore Society Launches 75th Anniversary Logo Campaign

With the slogan, "Make this the Year You Visit . . . Give . . . Join," the Mount Rushmore Society, official fundraising partner for Mount Rushmore National Memorial, formally announced a nationwide promotional effort to promote the 75th anniversary of the completion of Mount Rushmore National Memorial in 2016. Read more . . .

View the Brand USA Visit the Black Hills video

Mount Rushmore Memories Airport Store Grand Opening Held July 28

Mount Rushmore Memories Airport Store staff, Mount Rushmore Society board of directors and the Rapid City Regional Airport staff and board of directors celebrated the grand opening of Mount Rushmore Memories Airport Store on Tuesday, July 28, at Rapid City Regional Airport. The nonprofit store is operated by the Mount Rushmore Society and managed by Anna Raue. Read more . . .

Ribbon Cutting for New Youth Exploration Area Children's Shelter Held

The Mount Rushmore Society, National Park Service at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and major donors (including a representative from the National Park Foundation) celebrated completion of the new and permanent Youth Exploration Area shelter yesterday. A ribbon cutting was held on the site of the former Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Heritage Village. Read more . . .

Naturalization Ceremony Set for June 4 at Mount Rushmore

The United States District Court of South Dakota will hold a Naturalization Ceremony at Mount Rushmore National Memorial on Thursday, June 4, at 11 am in which approximately 185 people will become new American citizens. The ceremony will be held in the Amphitheater and is sponsored by the Mount Rushmore Society. Chief United States District Judge Jeffrey L. Viken will preside and give remarks. Read more . . .

Mount Rushmore Society Adds Two New Employee Positions to Growing Organization

Anna Raue has been promoted to Mount Rushmore Memories Airport Store retail manager. Raue has been with the Society for three years as the office manager. Prior to joining the Society, she worked in management for a local engineering firm and also worked in RCC Western Wear’s corporate office. Raue brings great retail, buying and business systems experience to her new position.

Kim Canfield has joined the Society as the assistant finance manager. She has 15 years accounting experience working within the petroleum and construction industries, as well as in public accounting. She also has 18 years banking industry experience in operations and lending.

Mount Rushmore Books Receive National Recognition

The Association of Partners for Public Lands (APPL) honored two Mount Rushmore Society books during the APPL Partnership Awards Banquet held in Atlanta on February 19. Four Famous Faces received the Publication of the Year Award and Cooks in Parks was a nominee in the category. Read more . . .

Mount Rushmore Society's Annual Meeting Showcases Accomplishments for Year and Honors Friends of the Faces

The Mount Rushmore Society celebrated 84 years of supporting Mount Rushmore National Memorial at its annual meeting held January 9, 2015 in Rapid City. Society President Andy Knight opened the meeting with approximately 90 members and guests in attendance. As part of the agenda, the top 15 highlights of the year were presented. Tom Griffith was honored with the 2015 Individual Friend of the Faces Award, and Black Hills Community Bank (BHCB) was awarded the 2015 Corporate Friend of the Faces Award. Read more

Society Wins Airport Store Concessions Bid

In keeping with the Society’s mission to promote Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills and to enhance the visitors’ understanding of the park and the region, the Society is expanding its Mount Rushmore Memories division to the Rapid City Regional Airport (Airport).

The Society submitted a proposal to the Airport board to operate the Airport Gift Store, beginning in January 2015, and was the successful bidder. The proposal outlined an innovative vision for the design of the store, blending the materials and motifs of the Airport with those of Mount Rushmore National Memorial to create a compelling retail experience. It also outlined our intentions of providing educational and unique items for the consumer, including our original publications, regional gourmet food and gifts, as well as convenience items that every traveler needs.

Since 1930, the Society has strategically engaged in new ventures to provide funding for projects and programs at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in a variety of ways. The Mount Rushmore Memories Airport Store is another way to fulfill that mission and to add another income stream to the organization for the ultimate preservation of the premier tourist attraction for South Dakota.

Youth Exploration Area Shelter Ground Breaking Held

Members of the Mount Rushmore Society, National Park Service and major donors were part of a ground-breaking ceremony for the Youth Exploration Area (YEA) shelter on Sunday, August 24 at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The YEA shelter is set to begin construction in 2015.

Mount Rushmore Society Gives Second $100,000 Sculpture Preservation Gift to NPS

Mount Rushmore Society President Andy Knight and Society Executive Director Diana Saathoff presented Mount Rushmore National Memorial Superintendent Cheryl Schreier with a $100,000 sculpture preservation gift on September 8, 2014. This is the second of five annual $100,000 gifts that the Society will give to the park to be used specifically for sculpture preservation at the Memorial.