Fort Riley, Kan. – USO Fort Riley greeted its 10,000th visitor Sept. 7 after a little more than three months in operation.
Spc. Horatio Aguilera, who has become one of the many regular visitors to the center, signed in Tuesday afternoon, marking the center’s milestone. Programs Manager Kara Salvati presented him with a USO goodie bag.
“I’m happy to know that each day, an average of 100 visitors have been enjoying the variety of services the USO offers,” Salvati said. “Of course, we couldn’t provide the many services we offer without the hard work and of our wonderful volunteers.”
Since its grand opening, USO Fort Riley has averaged 67 volunteers a month in the center, totaling more than 5,300 hours of service. The center’s top volunteer, Team Leader Kristen Davidson, has given more than 240 hours helping keep the center running smoothly.
“It’s amazing that 99 percent of our volunteers are service members, family members of soldiers and military retirees who dedicate themselves to help keep us running,” said Director April Blackmon. “We are an extended family here at the USO.”
A 501(c)(3) non-profit, the USO survives off of the support of donors both financially and with in-kind donations. From baking goodies to donating video games, books and DVDs, every contribution has helped put a smile on a soldier’s or family member’s face, Blackmon said.
“Our donors have helped us to truly serve as a ‘home away from home’ for our troops and their families by providing them with so many free services in an area that truly makes you feel at home,” she said.
Fort Riley is open every day of the year. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends, Noon to 6 p.m.