In celebration of the National Older Americans Month, All Peoples Community Center’s (APCC) Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) hosted a High Tea to celebrate the relaunch of the program.

Dale Evans with RSVP members. (Salvador Topete/Librarian Vernon Branch)

Director Dale Evans states that RSVP is a nationally recognized program of Americorp seniors. RSVP notes that they boast a five-decade history of connecting volunteers, 55 and over, with local non-profits and assisting them in meeting the needs of their communities.

With APCC hosting the South and Southeast chapter of RSVP, they “As individuals enter into their autumn and winter years, their social  lives often begin to shrink… I consider it a privilege to encourage older adults to take agency of their lives, become active and engaged, and find new purpose through volunteering and I enjoy helping older adults discover rewarding ways in which they may give back to their nation and the local community.” says Evans.

To kick off this event, Evans serving as the mistress of ceremonies welcomed the volunteers and  introduced Kristina Ferro and staff from the Americorp Washington D.C. and Regional Offices and the APCC Advisory Board.

The guests enjoyed three courses comprised of delicacies associated with traditional High Teas including sandwiches, scones, and an array of desserts. Throughout their meals, volunteers also witnessed presentations from Pastor Pat Stewart Fargas of Mount Salem Church and an RSVP volunteer and a speech by Dr. Jayall Barrd, MD, of Capital Health Partners.

Former Ms. Senior America, Frankie Stewart and Dale Evans, Director, AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP

Barrd shared ways to maintain healthy daily habits under the topics of brain, heart, and mental health in people over 55 years old.  The doctor also addressed concerns with the audience during a Q&A session.

Along with the presentations, volunteers heard a special performance from Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Sarah Daye.

At the conclusion, Evans and the RSVP Board of Directors honored Saundra Bryant, APCC executive director, her commitment to serving 40 years in the position.

APCC staff noted, “Bryant first came to All Peoples Community Center when she was just two. More specifically, she came to our daycare. She participated in our programs throughout her childhood and adolescence.

“She’s been our executive director for over 30 years. Her commitment to her community is demonstrated by her lifelong service for others.”

Bryant also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Asian-American Drug Abuse Program (AADAP) of Los Angeles, and served on panels to orientate police officers serving in LAPD’s specialized units, including its SWAT division. In 1987, she became the first female member of the Los Angeles Host Lions Club, and in 1992, was installed as its first female president.

Bryant is set to retire, and many noted that her fruitful career and dedication to the community will be missed.

To learn more about RSVP, visit