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Penn Hills senior center offers games to help sharpen memories

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Above from the left, Bill Bunn, Shirley Haerr, Robert Yee and Claudia Dorofeef took first place in a Copilot competition between eight Pennsylvania senior centers.

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Friday, March 29, 2013, 11:06 a.m.

Penn Hills Senior Service Center officials are looking to keep seniors healthy and active in both body and mind.

The center's staff has introduced a new Web-based program, Copilot, through which seniors can access cognitive games and activities in addition to tracking their daily well-being.

“They're having a ball, and it's also keeping their minds sharp,” said Phyllis Paciulli, information, referral and special-projects coordinator at the center.

Seven other Pennsylvania senior centers are using the Copilot program, and to mark the kickoff, all seven held an online trivia challenge March 1, where the Penn Hills team of Bill Bunn, Shirley Haerr, Robert Yee and Claudia Dorofeef took first place.

Copilot also is a mechanism to help track seniors' activity at the center. Participants are issued a card, which is scanned when they come to the center, and their online progress is logged. Through Copilot, seniors can play memory games, trivia challenges, a spelling game similar to Scrabble called Wordsmith and also log what center activities they've used.

The Copilot program is just one of several new ventures for the center, Paciulli said. Their next project is fundraising.

“We're hosting our first fundraiser this year, a wine tasting in May,” she said.

Trax Farms of Finleyville will provide the wine, and the evening will feature a Chinese auction. Paciulli said the center also is considering hosting a pasta bake fundraiser in June. Both will be open to the public, not only seniors citizens.

Tickets for the wine-tasting, which will take place May 17, go on sale Monday at the center, located at 147 Jefferson Road.

For more information, call 412-244-3400 or 412-244-3408.

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or

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