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Stop by and say ‘Aloha’

July 19, 2012
By MIKE?HUGHES - Times Leader Staff Writer ( , Times Leader

SENIOR?SERVICES of Belmont?County and its 10 senior centers are planning a month-long membership drive for August.

According to Lori Bittengle with SSBC, membership is already on the upswing at most centers but this effort is geared county-wide.

"Our numbers are up," Bittengle said. "Centerville had five new members last month, all on the same day.

Article Photos

AS?PART?of its membership drive, the senior centers in Belmont County are utilizing a Luau theme throughout the month of August, culminating Aug. 24 with an ‘Aloha Luau’ scheduled at each center to welcome new members. Front row, from left, are: Donna Steadman, Centerville Senior Center, Lori Bittengle with Senior Services of Belmont County, Tina Burkhart, Senior Services Nutrition Supervisor, Linda Wells, Barnesville and Sue Hines, Bethesda. Back row, from left, are: Tish Kinney, Flushing; Karen Titonis, Bellaire; Linda Sadowksi, Martins Ferry; Daisy Braun, St. Clairsville and Shirley Jo Case, Colerain. Absent: Mike McBride, Powhatan.

"And Martins Ferry is up 17 members."

Bittengle also reported that the Flushing Senior Center has seen 10 of its inactive members rejoin the fold.

Most of the centers will be distributing information about the month's activities the first week to get the word out and drum up interest.

The second week will see a Luau luncheon to welcome new members.

The third week of the month each center will host a cornhole tournament, complete with prizes and give-a-ways.

The events come to a conclusion on Friday, Aug. 24 as each center will host an Aloha Luau.

The nutrition department of SSBC will be serving up Hawaiian-themed meals to transport to the centers, including: Musubi, pineapple upside down cake, Hawaiian welcoming bread and tropical drinks.

"We wanted to do some type of pulled pork, but it doesn't hold up as well when transporting it in smaller containers," said Tina Burkhart, the SSBC? Nutrition Supervisor.

Usually the center members get together a few times per year at a particular location for a big, festive party.

That idea was thought about for the Luau, but it was determined that since the ultimate goal is to boost membership, having a party at each center is a better idea.

"Since we want to increase membership, we want to show off each individual senior center," Burkhart said.

Hughes may be reached online at



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