Faces of the Valley: Plum Community Center’s new activities coordinator well-suited for job

Diana Kelly’s father says she can strike up a conversation and make friends with anyone, anywhere.

“My dad says I’m good at socializing because I like talking to people,” she said.

So when Kelly’s father, 82-year-old Paul Nye, got a job as an activities coordinator for the Plum Community Center, he thought it was great.

“You can’t be shy in a job like this,” she said. “I have no shy bones.”

Founded in the early 1980s, Plum Community Center is a non-profit organization run by a volunteer committee separate from the borough, says executive director Karen Hochberg. He has a staff of seven and is located next to the Plumborough Community Library in a building rented from New He Borough on Texas Road.

A major expansion a decade ago added a fitness center, exercise room and commercial kitchen, Hochberg said. A fresh paint job and new LED lighting make it even better.

Although formally established as the Plum Senior Community Center and primarily serving seniors, its programs, activities, and services are open to all ages, both inside and outside Plum.

“Our goal is to reduce loneliness and keep people healthy,” Hochberg said. “The evidence is mounting. The more active you are and the more you stay connected to your community, family and friends, the healthier you are and the longer you live.”

Kelly, 58, started working at the center in September. She is from her township, Washington, and graduated from her area high school in Kisuki in 1982. About a year ago, her daughter, Danielle, moved from her township to her Karcist to approach her karcist. moved to Hills. She also has her son David Round and six grandchildren who live in Texas.

Kelly, a stay-at-home mom, has been doing much the same job at Beatty Point Village, UPMC’s independent living facility in Monroeville, for about three years. She recently helped her daughter take care of her three children.

The activity coordinator job began when Samantha Lamorte became responsible for the Meals on Wheels program.

“This is what I want to do,” Kelly said. “I love working with people, especially older people. They tell the best stories.”

Hochberg says he is very pleased with Kelly’s performance so far.

“She brings great energy and new ideas to her work,” she said. “We expect great things from her.”

Activities at the center include card play, bingo and line dancing. Kelly also organizes short- and long-distance trips, including dinner her cruises on her Clipper Fleet at Gateway and excursions to her Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh and her Curbs in Altoona.

Kelly said he’d seen Horseshoe Curve on attendees’ bucket lists at times.

“We’re always looking for places to go,” she said. “Most of my ideas come from talking to everyone here. I think about what I want to see.”

Daily lunches are just $3, cooked in the center’s full kitchen and served in the large dining area with a fireplace on weekdays.

Starting in January, Kelly will teach several craft classes, as well as pretzel-making and cookie-decorating baking classes.

“Everything that is done here is done for the community,” Kelly said.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can reach Brian by email at brittmeyer@triblive.com or on his Twitter. .

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