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HoPP is hopping, thanks to volunteers

There’s no doubt that the Heart of Pine Plains Community Center is aptly named. Since first created in August 2009, it has been central to the town’s creative, social and volunteer base. It is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission statement is “to promote independence, well being and community engagement amongst area residents by establishing programs which address social, recreational, health and educational needs.” It goes on to state the center also “supports the activities of local groups and services by coordinating a centralized scheduling system to assure balanced usage of the community center.”That’s quite a mission, but thanks to HoPP organizer Jennifer Mosher and her many volunteers, the center, located on the second floor of the what is still considered the “new” town library, manages to pull it off. Mosher recently updated the Town Board on HoPP’s growth. When first formed in 2009 it had three programs; now, three years later, it has 45 groups scheduled for February alone. The center clearly fills a void the town barely knew it had. But now, those who make use of the wide open second-floor space wouldn’t trade it for the world. One can go there for yoga class, to play games, meet with the Boy Scouts, get free tax help, exercise with seniors or join in on a meeting with the local softball team. And the list keeps growing. HoPP, which is open to any local group or service, also offers community members programs like Young at Heart, which provides meals once aweek to more than 40 seniors; or the Brud Pulver Movie Theatre, which provides affordable entertainment for all ages; or Free Flow, which meets once weekly and serves roughly 35 families monthly with support services.HoPP also serves as a warming or cooling station during extreme weather or power outages. It’s currently pursuing becoming an official Red Cross shelter for the town.It also provides Thanksgiving dinners to seniors every year and hometown care packages for local military personnel.The list of services provided by the community center is long, and what’s so amazing is that it’s continuing to grow. HoPP provides so many essential and supplemental services to the residents of Pine Plains that it’s now hard to imagine what the town would do without it. Certainly those who dedicate their time and energy to provide such varied and comprehensive programing should be lauded for their efforts — they are doing an incredible job. In just a few brief years, and with great speed and steadfastness, HoPP has become as essential part of the Pine Plains community; to praise it with just a few brief words hardly does it justice.

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