Couple Ramen Gingrich of East Manchester and Mary Patterson of Zions View met each other at the Northeastern Senior Center two years ago. "I came here
Couple Ramen Gingrich of East Manchester and Mary Patterson of Zions View met each other at the Northeastern Senior Center two years ago. "I came here (center) to play cards, and I got her," said Gingrich said. (Sonya Paclob — Weekly Record)

In the basement of Otterbein United Methodist Church on Center Street in Mount Wolf is the Northeastern Senior Center,

I was there recently to spend some time and take some photos of the center's community.

They had prepared some vegetable soup for me and asked if I needed anything else. I refused, but they kept the hospitality open.

Building relationships

One of the members I introduced myself to was thrilled to have me join her for lunch.

I sat with Mary Patterson of Zions View who gave me a hug rather than a handshake. She introduced me to her "honey" Ramen Gingrich of East Manchester Township.

The couple met at the center and have been together for 2 years. "We went to a ball game together and I asked her out," he said. I asked, "And the rest is history?" Gingrich nodded and smiled.

Deb Davis, the director has been serving 50 to 60 seniors a day for 15 years.

"I don't know how many people love their job. I love it, plain and simple," she said.

She pointed out majority of the seniors love to play chicken foot, dominoes and card games. But the biggest draw to the center is Bingo. Activities are offered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The surrounding community also donates to the center. Michael Gladfelter of Diehl Funeral Home in Mount Wolf donates flowers to the seniors (with permission from the families of the deceased).

According to Gladfelter, he gives families an option to donate the flowers. Volunteers then bundle the flowers and give it to members to take home.

The center is growing

Davis pointed out that the space is shared. She would love to move into a newer facility to accommodate its growth of the past 40 years.

The center has 130 volunteers that support home-delivered meals, kitchen and fundraiser duties and its board of directors.

"We need a new home and we outgrew it," she said.