(06/11/2001)
By Bob Weaver

"Every day has been an education," said Mike Ritchie, Director of the Calhoun County Committee on Aging, commenting on his first year as head of the local senior citizens center. Ritchie said he has really enjoyed serving the seniors.

Ritchie completes first year

Representatives from the Bureau of Senior Services said "Mike Ritchie has in the past year taken a program on the verge of closing and made it one of the most active senior programs in West Virginia....Services and programs have increased dramatically under his leadership."

"I get paid twice. My paycheck, and then the nice things the seniors and the public say about our efforts," he said. "Brenda McBride has brought great energy and organization to the center and our dedicated staff have made it a great year."

Ritchie took the post at a much reduced salary than his predecessor, saying "This is something I have always wanted to do." The vitality of the center speaks well for Ritchie, McBride and their associates.

The utilization of the center is up nearly 500%, mostly due to the expansion of the nutrition program and dozens of new activities offered to the seniors. "Forty seniors are going on our DC trip," said Ritchie. CCCOA staff members make 100 personal care calls in the community each week, mostly to seniors who need special support services.

The new nutrition program at Minnora is now serving about forty seniors. "The response to has been great," said Ritchie.

With the Senior Center being the busiest place around, Ritchie is not content resting on last years success. "I have some new projects on the board to help our seniors and visions of several others," he concluded.


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