New to Delaware but no stranger to administration, Tricia Fleming has been named executive director of the Lewes Senior Activity Center following the retirement of Dennis Nealen.
Fleming moved to the area part-time with her husband in the summer of 2019. Fleming was the president’s office operations manager at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, but says the couple enjoyed living in the Cape area . so much so that they sold their house and moved here full-time in August 2021. Fleming, still wanting to work but not wanting to spend all of her salary at one of the retail stores, was encouraged by her sister to apply for the position of general manager.
“I love running things, and it’s really the same as a school, except my students are older,” Fleming said.
Members can enjoy access to a fitness center, aerobics classes, art classes, and cooking classes. Social interactions are also an important part of senior life in Lewes.
“They’re friendly, they’re funny, and it’s just a great place,” Fleming said. “I was a member before becoming general manager. I loved being here. So now I get paid to be here, and I love it! »
During the pandemic, the center had to close everything. Fleming said while some members are still not comfortable coming back, they are practicing social distancing and for the most part are back to somewhat normal. The summer garage sale, held indoors, was the first big event since the shutdown, and the new manager said it was a success. Masks have been encouraged, particularly with staff, but are not mandatory.
Fleming hopes members can stay healthy this fall as she added new classes and plans to add a few more trips. She wants to reach out to all members and be able to accommodate their price ranges, as well as their interests, regarding travel and courses.
There have been requests from members to hold more social events during the fall and winter months, a time when Fleming said members felt locked in. There are already two concerts scheduled for the fall, but the new manager said she would consider adding more. events, including dances.
“There are people who are just coming in, socializing; they can come and sit in the living room and chat, or sometimes they just come and sit and read a book. They just say it’s nice to be around people,” Fleming said.
Annual membership to the Lewes Senior Activity Center is $30. Fleming encourages anyone interested to visit at 32083 Janice Road, Lewes, to fill out an application and discuss with staff the various services and courses offered. The center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday. More information is available at lewesseniorcenter.org.