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Final Push to Save J.O.Y. Senior Center

A hot button issue in Millcreek enters its final chapter with the closing of the J.O.Y. Senior Center.
A hot button issue in Millcreek enters its final chapter with the closing of the J.O.Y. Senior Center on Wednesday.

Tempers flared Tuesday night as J.O.Y. Senior Center members made their final plea to Millcreek Township Supervisors. But the decision remains, the J.O.Y. Center's doors will close Wednesday for the last time.

"I would now like to stand here and plead the reconsideration but I know it will only fall on deaf ears,” says Pam Weber, a member of J.O.Y. Senior Center at Tuesday’s meeting.

Township supervisors voted in May to close the J.O.Y. Senior Center and end a 3 year contract with MECA Incorporated, prompting major backlash from the community. Supervisors made the decision stating there were other similar services in the area and the center is too expensive to run for just over 300 members.

Members of the center have voiced their outrage over the decision throughout the summer and the organization Concerned Citizens of Millcreek have held meetings throughout August to protest the closing.

The fight is an emotional one for J.O.Y. members who say the center changed lives.

Senior Center member, Marlowe Weum, says, "I don't know how many people I meet everyday that say, ‘Well I'm gonna miss this place because before I was at home sitting in my looking at four walks and crying. i haven't cried in weeks.’ "

Township Supervisor, John Groh, tells us that another senior center is in the future for Millcreek, once a new plan is put in place.

"We all wanna have a senior center and I don't know how I can say that to these people without screaming it at 'em. Yeah we wanna see it, but we don't want it operated the way it's being operated,” says Groh.

But protestors told us at Tuesday night’s meeting that the fight for the J.O.Y. Center isn’t over.

"The supervisors believe that were just gonna fold up and disappear but that isn't going to happen we won't disappear we don't go away this will continue,” says member Mary Szymanowski.

Supervisors say they’ll continue to listen.

“God bless America and the First Amendment. We also have our First Amendment right too, and yes that's the way it is here in America. So if they wanna come here and do that, that's fine I have no problem with that, as long as don't hear the same repetitive statements all the time which we’re starting to hear a lot of,” says Groh.

Supervisors did offer the seniors the chance to use the Millcreek Golf and Learning Center clubhouse but they declined.

Concerned Citizens of Millcreek President, Tom Osiecki, told the crowd on Tuesday that he is looking into temporary locations for seniors.

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