New to Delaware, but no stranger to administration, Tricia Fleming has been named the executive director of the Lewes Senior Activity Center following the retirement of Dennis Nealen.
Fleming moved to the area on a part-time basis with her husband in the summer of 2019. Fleming was the director of office operations for the president at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., but says the couple loved living in the Cape Region so much that they sold their home and moved here full time in August 2021. Fleming, still wanting to work but not wanting to spend her entire paycheck at one of the retail stores, was encouraged by her sister to apply for the executive director position.
“I love running things, and it’s really basically 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 element of senior living in Lewes.
“They are friendly, they are funny, and it’s just a great place to be,” Fleming said. “I was a member prior to taking over as executive director. I loved being here. So, now, I get paid for being here, and I’m loving it!”
During the pandemic, the center had to shut down everything. Fleming said while some members are still not comfortable returning, they are practicing social distancing and, for the most part, have returned a good bit to normal. The summer yard sale, which was held indoors, was the first big event since the shutdown, and the new director said it was a success. Masks have been encouraged, especially with staff, but are not required.
Fleming is hopeful members are able to stay healthy this fall as she’s added new classes and is looking into adding 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 trips and classes.
There have been requests from members to hold more social events during the fall and winter months, a time when Fleming said members feel shut in. There are two concerts slated for the fall already, but the new director said she will be looking into adding more events, including dances.
“There are people who just come in, socialize; they might come and just sit in the lounge and chat, or sometimes they just come and they sit and read a book. They just say it's nice to be around people,” Fleming said.
Yearly membership to the Lewes Senior Activity Center is $30. Fleming encourages all those interested to visit at 32083 Janice Road, Lewes, to fill out an application and speak with staff about the various services and classes offered. The center is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Friday. More information is available at lewesseniorcenter.org.