EATON — After over a year of being closed to the public due to COVID-19, the Preble County Council on Aging’s (PCCOA) Senior Center reopening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, June 2.
Closed since March 13, 2020, the Senior Center had operated in a limited capacity, hosting events over Zoom in addition to Drive-Thru Thursday events held in the property’s barn.
Now, with health mandates lifted across the state and country, the time was right to open the Senior Center’s doors to the public.
“Even with our doors shut, we were able to make a difference in the lives of seniors in Preble County,” said PCCOA Executive Director Shelley Ratliff.
State Representative Rodney Creech (R-West Alexandria), who previously served as a board member for the PCCOA and was appointed to the Elder Abuse Commission by Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp, spoke to attendees.
“It’s great to be back…thank you so much to Shelley and her staff for everything they’ve done in the last year,” Creech said. “They went far and above what they needed to do and kept this place running. The board – we have an amazing senior center board.” Creech then presented a proclamation on behalf of himself and Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp.
Eaton mayor Joe Renner also spoke on behalf of the city.
“We were fortunate enough to be here a few weeks ago to give a proclamation to the senior center on their accomplishments, and what I saw when I came in here was a whole lot of volunteers and employees working, still providing service to the citizens of this county,” Renner said. “We all know many desperately need help. So, I think we all admire and we all appreciate that. I loved what I saw when I was here.”
Renner then presented a proclamation on behalf of the City of Eaton.
Jim Thomas, President of the PCCOA Board of Directors, then spoke of how hard employees of the PCCOA work, and how dedicated they are to Preble County.
“Your job has far exceeded all those so-called high-priced jobs…what you do is significantly better and more productive than all of those that we talk about. You are wonderful, wonderful employees and I just appreciate so much, the staff here at the Preble County Council on Aging,” he said. “Then we go to the volunteers. I appreciate the volunteers so much, all that come in and help us out. We just appreciate that for a long time.
“As a result of all this, we’re the number one senior center, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to be number one the next time around,” Thomas continued, referencing the Senior Center’s recognition in 2019 as Senior Center of the Year. “That means we don’t give up. We keep on working, keep on trying. That’s where I want all of our membership to become part of what’s happening. As we move towards the new levy, I want us all to take a challenge. Getting out into the neighborhood and talking to our friends and our neighbors and telling them how important this organization really is.”
The Senior Center will be members only through Friday, June 11, and open to everyone beginning Monday, June 14. For more information, visit https://prebleseniorcenter.org.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles