Community center provides for the needs of the town
PINE PLAINS — With the launch of a new website last week and new programs being added to its schedule this month, the Heart of Pine Plains Community Center (HoPP) has certainly enjoyed a substantial amount of growth since it opened in August 2009.Jennifer Mosher attended the Pine Plains Town Board meeting on Jan. 19 to give the new administration an update on the HoPP, which is located in the Pine Plains Library building.“We opened with three programs. In 2011, we had more than 18 programs,” Mosher told the board.Mosher said nine groups were scheduled to use the HoPP room in 2009, including Boy Scouts and other community organizations.“This month, we have 45 groups scheduled,” she said.Mosher said the HoPP is now in phase two of the hiring stage, which she emphasized is an important milestone for the center. She said they hired a local janitorial service and were looking for a graphic designer to update the HoPP’s website. The site received its upgrade on Feb. 1.“We look forward to continuing our work with you,” she told the board as she invited the members to visit the HoPP to learn more about its programs.Many residents in the audience who utilize the HoPP’s services applauded the center and noted its important role within the community.“The exercise classes are wonderful for older people,” said Connie Young.She also said the HoPP was “a blessing” during the surprise October snowstorm.Connie Nuccio said the center gives her a chance to relax, and that she hopes the HoPP “stays there forever.”Sarah Jones is a member of the Dutchess County Rug Hooking Guild, and she said the group is happy to have the opportunity to host meetings at the center.“The HoPP has given me purpose,” said volunteer Elaine Wilson. “I’ve met people I wouldn’t have before.”John Ryan called the center a “really great place” he enjoys a lot, noting that it’s an asset to the community’s veterans.Ron Mosher, Jennifer’s husband, said he appreciates what the town has done for the community center. He also mentioned that while HoPP provides programs for seniors, it also offers activities for people of all ages.Town Councilman George Keeler commended the hard work of the Moshers and mentioned that he saw many younger residents in HoPP during the October snowstorm to charge their cell phones and laptops.Keeler also mentioned the board is working on an application that will allow the Red Cross to name the community center as an actual rescue site during emergencies.According to the HoPP’s new website, the center’s warming and cooling shelter was open for 120 hours in 2011 to provide shelter and meals to the community. During that year, the HoPP provided 183 hours of instructional classes such as tutoring and defensive driving, and 811 hours were made available to nonprofit and civic groups such as the Lions Club and the town’s Recreation Department.For more information about the Heart of Pine Plains Community Center, call 518-398-1035 or visit www.thehopp.org.