PA House residents prepare for Easter with handmade decorations

Residents at the Pennsylvania House in downtown Tyrone have a busy month ahead of them as spring slowly begins to descend on the area.
Beginning with Easter, many residents have been working on decorating the lobby for the upcoming holiday.
Last Thursday, a group of men and women started gathering to make decorative Easter eggs that eventually were hung on a tree and placed in the lobby.
Residents Doris and Dean Garber went out an actually found a real tree to use for the eggs, which was a surprise to the others working on the project. The Garber’s son helped prepare the tree, bring it to the residence and paint it white.
Marcia York, President of the Pennsylvania House Residents Association, and known to many people as “Tennessee”, said a lot of residents participated in the Easter egg project.
“So many different individuals helped decorate the eggs and they’re all so unique, that’s what I like,” said York.
Visitors and residents to the Pennsylvania House may also notice beautiful flower arrangements adorning the lobby. These arrangements were put together by Ellie Laird.
“I’m hoping this will be a tradition we can start and hopefully it will continue for years to come,” said York.
Also, an Easter dinner is scheduled for April 12 for residents who are spending the holiday at home.
“We think of this as our community, our family,” York said.
Preparing for Easter isn’t the only thing planned for residents in the upcoming weeks.
York explained a new board was elected to the Pennsylvania House Residents Association in January and they are working hard to get as many people involved as possible.
Another new social activity the Association has started is a birthday club. Residents were asked to submit their birth month. Then every three months, a celebration is held for all those having birthdays within those months.
New residents joining the Pennsylvania House community are welcomed with a “New Residents Tea”, which is held to help introduce them to other residents.
York said at the tea, residents “get to meet the people who have lived here a long time and see what we’re all about.”
The group has also started sing-a-longs, where residents are invited to gather together, pick out songs, sing and have fun while they socialize.
According to York, they plan to schedule sing-a-longs on one Friday each month for entertainment. She said they might also invite other types of entertainers to perform.
Other activities include a Sunday afternoon game day, where residents can gather and play cards, Phase 10, Skip Bo or other games and spontaneous ice cream socials.
The Pennsylvania House community is also known to celebrate holidays together, as they did recently with a corned beef and cabbage dinner in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.
York said as the weather warms up, the group is hoping to plan more outside activities such as a patio barbecue.
“Right now, it’s kind of like trial and error,” said York of the activities, “We’re seeing what works and so far we’ve had a really good response to the activities.”
The residents are excited about the changes too.
“In her term as president, Tennessee has brought more people out, both men and women, who don’t usually participate,” said Helen Jackson.
“We had a lot of women help out with the egg decorating, but we had men help too,” Jackson continued, “People are more excited and are getting involved.”
York said she has received a lot of compliments since she took office in January, but she gives most of the credit to the volunteers and residents who help make everything possible.
“I have my Smiling Angels Committee to help me,” said York, “Ellie (Laird) is the Executive Head Angel, she helps decorate for all of this.
“I call them angels because we feel our volunteers are our angels, they really make everything possible.”