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Plum Community center makes name change to appeal to all ages

| Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | for the Plum Advance Leader
Laura Demko and her mother, Sue Lapiana, attend many of the Plum Community Center's classes, including the yoga stretch class on Tuesday, Nov. 25.
Lillian DeDomenic | for the Plum Advance Leader
Laura Demko and her mom, Sue Lapiana attend many of the Plum Community Center's classes including the yoga stretch class on Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Sue Lapiana a year ago was looking for activities as she eased into retirement.

Lapiana, 71, of Plum began volunteering at the Plum Senior Community Center by delivering Meals on Wheels.

When Lapiana found out that the center offered a yoga stretch class on Tuesday afternoons, she decided to sign up and persuaded her daughter, Laura Demko, 48, to join her.

“It's a good activity for all ages,” Lapiana said.

“She dragged me in,” Demko said, jokingly, after a yoga stretch class last week.

Lapiana and Demko represent the center's goal of attracting residents of all ages to its activities.

To that end, center officials a couple of months ago decided to drop the word “senior” from the center name and opted for Plum Community Center.

“We had been discussing dropping the name “senior” when we advertise or talk about the center,” said Nina Segelson, the center's executive director. “So, informally, we just started doing it.”

Segelson said the decision to drop “senior” from the name was prompted by many factors.

People generally do not like the term “senior” when applied to themselves even though the AARP designates seniors as people ages 50 and older, Segelson said. Also, baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are eligible for most of the center's programs.

Segelson said the addition of the café means anyone of any age can order for takeout or eat-in meals at the center.

Also, the center conducts a variety of programs for all ages, including the upcoming Sugar Plum Days and the pet show, Segelson said.

The center has 1,582 registered members, Segelson said. Also, the center has 62 members younger than 60, she added.

“We offer so many fitness programs that are available to, and utilized by, those under 60,” Segelson said. “We are really about wellness. We often have two or three generations participating.”

Segelson said seniors will continue to find programs and resources at the center.

“We certainly do not want any senior to feel that they are being excluded or will be excluded in the future,” Segelson said.

“We are the experts in the community on senior programs and benefits and needs, and we intend to keep it that way. Actually, many younger folks are helping us provide services for the older people.”

Demko appreciates the center's variety of activities.

“It's a great thing to have a community center for all ages all under one roof,” she said.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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