BROOKVILLE — The Heritage House senior center in Brookville celebrated its 27th anniversary last week.
Melissa Harrison, who has been center director for nearly three years, welcomed county officials, former center directors and other guests to the anniversary celebration. “I love it here,” she said. “I am sure a lot of you have been coming here since the beginning, and I love hearing your stories.”
Molly McNutt, executive director of the Jefferson County Area Agency on Aging, acknowledged “the generous gift that Col. Bill Groves left to the Area Agency on Aging. He would come to Heritage House for coffee in the mornings and when he passed, he left a gift to help support the programs.”
She also recognized “the visionaries who helped pave the way for the success of Heritage House. It is a focal point of our community today and for many years to come.”
Contractor Dan Mohney recalled the renovation of the building, from a supermarket to the senior center. “John DeMotte was the spearhead for this project and everyone worked together. I think this was the best coordination of everybody involved. Everybody did their job and I was glad to be a part of it.”
Commissioner Jack Matson said Heritage House is “more alive than it’s ever been. This is a blueprint for what can be done when everyone works together.”
State Rep. Cris Dush said Heritage House “has turned out to be a blessing for the community. This place has been tremendous. The name is Heritage House and I wish more young people would come down here and spend time with the people who are passing that heritage on. You have an awful lot to be proud of.”
Also speaking briefly were former center directors Patty Zion, Mabel “Sis” Dunkle and Mary Ann “Honey” Thomas.
“My mother and my grandmother were workers and volunteered,” Thomas said. “My grandmother was the tax collector for Millstone Township and she had just finished handwriting all the tax notices when she died at age 90. The day my mother died we were out fishing on Callen Run. So I come from a long line of workers; I’ve volunteered all my life. My claim to fame is that I had Franco Harris as a student.
“The Heritage House has been a big part of my life; I’m always here doing something. We went through the flood. When I came in the Monday morning after the flood, Laura Mae (Baker) and Bill (Sherman) were in here with boots on, and we really had to start from scratch. It’s been an interesting time and a lot of good things have happened,” she said. “Laura Mae wanted it to be a community center, and it truly is.”
Harrison thanked the many volunteers who help with the various programs at Heritage House. “I have such wonderful volunteers. I thank God for them every day,” she said. “Everybody volunteers in their own way. If anyone wants to volunteer, see me. It may be something small, but you can do it in your own way.”
Following the program everyone played Heritage House Bingo until lunch was served.
For more information about the activities and events at Heritage House, call 849-3391.