Jones takes over as center director
By Lynn R. Parks
The Greenwood CHEER Center has a new director. Greenwood native Robin Jones took over the reins on June 29 from June Huey, who retired after seven years as director. "I enjoy it here," said Jones, 37. "The people who come in are cheerful and this is the most attractive senior center in the county." In fact, it is the only center that is owned by the Sussex County Senior Services Inc. All the others are rented.
But Jones is no newcomer to the senior center. Her mother, Betty Jory, served as director for 17 years and oversaw its move from the Greenwood United Methodist Church to the former Lettuce Bowl restaurant building on US 13 north of town. The center has since left that building and is located on US 13 south of town in a facility that was also a former Lettuce Bowl restaurant.
"I helped my mother," said Jones. "She would get the activities together and then I would type them up." In addition, she joined the seniors on several of their trips, often taking along her children, Chad, now 15, and Zachary, now 10.
In turn, Jones expects that her mother will help her out some. "She comes in and eats lunch now and sometimes tells me something that I should do," she said. Jones anticipates that Jory will soon become more active in planning long-distance trips for center members.
Jones, who has lived in Greenwood all her life, graduated from Woodbridge High School in 1981. She and Tommy Jones were married the following year. Until accepting the position at the senior center, Jones baby sat in her home and helped her husband with his grass-cutting business.
Jones said that her main goal is attracting more members to the center. "I am familiar with a lot of people and I know that there are a lot of senior citizens who do not come in here," she said. About 20 people regularly visit the center. "This is a nice place to come," Jones added. "The building is really cozy and the people who visit here are pleasant. We would really like to get more people in here."
The center offers daily trips to shopping center, libraries and area places of interest. It also hosts speakers on health and other matters and regular Bible study sessions. Breakfast and lunch are served at the center. Food services manager is Mary Jurainiec. In addition, volunteers deliver lunches to home-bound individuals in the Greenwood area as well as the Slaughter Neck area. Because her center has so many volunteers, it is able to help out in Slaughter Neck, where volunteers are fewer. The two centers also share an outreach worker, Carol Meister.
The Greenwood CHEER Center also has three kitchen employees, hired through Community Action. Jones is looking for a fourth worker to replace a woman who recently retired. Community Action workers must be 55 or older.
"It is a nice arrangement because they only work four hours a day and they get a little spending money," Jones said.
In addition to a kitchen and dining room, the center also has an exercise room, complete with exercise equipment, and a crafts room. And there is a deck, recently furnished with tables, umbrellas and chairs. "I would really like to see us use that more," said Jones. "Maybe people will eat out there, or we could have senior dances out there, with lights strung up."
But for right now, Jones is just learning the ropes of her new job. "I have learned a lot in the past few weeks and the people have accepted me pretty good," she said. "Every day is a new day."