Low membership puts Avonmore senior center at risk
The financial problem that almost closed the East Vandergrift Senior Citizens Center may now be threatening the Avonmore center.Kathy Mazur, director of the Alle-Kiski Valley Senior Centers Inc., which operates those centers and one in New Kensington, said the center must recruit more members in order to keep getting state and county funds.
She said recruiting more members and broadening the appeal of the center will be one focus of a town meeting to be held at the center on Thursday.
“There's about 160 members listed, but only 75 are paying dues,” Mazur said. “That's not bad for that size center, but they are not going by that.”The problem lies with how often those members use the center, she said.
Mazur said the Area Agency on Aging looks at the “sign-ins” — the number of people who sign their names when they enter the center be it for lunch, an exercise program or just to socialize.
On average, that number is only 20 to 25 per day, she said.
“We heard it through the grapevine that Avonmore was next up,” she said. “Avonmore is a poorly attended center.
“We even offered a free lunch,” she said. ”We're not getting big results, but we did get some results.”
She said the cost to join is $20 and seniors can go to any of the three locations.
But given Avonmore's somewhat isolated location that could be a problem if the center there closes.
“Senior centers are just hurting financially,” Mazur said. “There are services that the (Area Agency)provides that are going to be hit.”She said hours for staff members were cut back from 37.5 hours to 32 hours and there have been no pay raises for about five years.“There is no reason to panic, but we keep seeing things shrink,” Mazur said.
Avonmore Mayor Aileen Reid said the town meeting was scheduled to discuss a number of issues related to fueling a renaissance for the community.Keeping the senior citizens center going is part of that, she said, “Because this is the vitality of the elderly population in our community. This is our social life, this is their entertainment. And we definitely want to carry on in that respect.”
She said the hope is that people will come with ideas to help keep the senior center going and try to explore further some ideas that have already been put forth, such as establishing a coffee shop and a soup kitchen at the center with the help of community volunteers.
“We want it to be inter-generational,” Reid said of the effort. “We don't want it to be just focused on the seniors, but on the whole community coming together to support the seniors.”
“Our goal is to sell 20 lunches a day and to have 11,000 sign-ins per year,” Reid said.
Tom Yerace is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4675 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Behind Liriano, Pirates complete sweep of Diamondbacks
- Crosby, Malkin want to remain in Pittsburgh
- Injured Penguins optimistic about returning next season
- McCain renews push to have military, not CIA, manage drone strikes
- Boy, 15, charged with firing shots in Brighton Heights
- McKees Rocks fire displaces 2 residents
- Israel thwarts terrorist attack
- Penguins notebook: Crosby to play in worlds for 1st time since 2006
- United States aided rebels in Caucasus, Russian President Putin claims
- NASA head tells Pitt grads their generation will ‘walk the face of Mars’
- Spirit Airlines lifts fortunes of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport