Gene Hendel, a volunteer driver for the West Chester Twp. senior transportation program helps 82-year-old Rita Penny into the van at the Senior Activity Center.

West Chester residents upset senior center may close

Township Administrator Larry Burks said he met with Community First — the non-profit that leases the center and runs the programs — before the holidays and was told it would not be renewing the lease with the township when it expires in December, but he has no official word.

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Danielle Webb, Vice President of Marketing & Community Relations with Community First, told the Journal-News plans are still fluid.

“We are currently in discussions with West Chester Twp. to proactively prepare for the end of our lease,” she replied in an email. “At this time, no decisions have been finalized, however we are working collaboratively with the township to ensure that older adults may continue to have access to social and recreational activities in West Chester.”

Mary Huizinga told the trustees that while she hasn’t exactly reached senior status yet, she was saddened because the lunch program and her personal trainer were cut. She said for many seniors, the center provides most of their interaction with others.

“I’ve seen the meals cut and I know there are some people there that that’s their only hot meal,” she said. “It breaks my heart, it really does, I don’t know how people can treat seniors this way.”

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