New senior center all about partnerships

Bill Orzechowski, executive director of the Office of Human Services in Ridgway, addressed the sizable crowd that gathered along Plum Street in Jay Township on Wednesday afternoon for the groundbreaking ceremony for the community's new senior center. Orzechowski referred to the event as an "exciting day" and "a special day in the life of the Valley and a special day in the life of the Bennetts Valley Senior Center."He remarked that it was especially noteworthy that a new facility was being constructed with the purpose of being a senior center. "To have a purpose-built building, that's pretty rare. You don't find that many centers and buildings that were built to be a center. They kind of rent space or make do with something. We're fortunate in this economy, in this day and age, to pull that off," Orzechowski said. Orzechowski also noted that the center is made up of more than just a building. "Just like with a church, you know, it's not the building as much as it's the people," Orzechowski said. "Bennetts Valley has great people, really great people," he added. He also remarked that he believes the senior centers in this area are particularly special. "Now everybody probably thinks that, but I know ours are special. Ours are a partnership, and that's not always the case. There are a lot of areas where the center is provided to the residents and the residents don't have to do much. They just show up," Orzechowski said. That's not the case in this area, according to Orzechowski. He explained that around here, everyone pitches in by lending their talents and doing whatever they're able to keep the center running.