Center in the Park holds annual tree trimming social for older adults

Tamala Edwards Image
Thursday, December 14, 2023
Center in the Park Holds Annual Tree Trimming Social for Older Adults
About 30 older adults gathered at Center in the Park for the annual tree trimming social.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- About 30 older adults gathered at Center in the Park for the annual tree trimming social.

"We're coming together to make ornaments and decorate our tree together this year," says Cleo L. Smalls, Center Director of Center in the Park.

Paid Sponsor Partnership: Philadelphia Corporation for Aging

Attendees could also wrap presents for under the tree and enjoy some cookies and eggnog.

The center is celebrating its 55th anniversary.

"One of the original program directors made it a tradition that we continue to follow," says Smalls.

"The greatest benefit is that you allow the older adults to socialize, to come together, to broadcast their talents too," says LaToya Gilmer, Program Manager for Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.

Center in the Park is one of 28 senior centers that Philadelphia Corporation for Aging helps fund.

"The overall mission of PCA is to extend the life of older adults," says Gilmer. "So that way they can stay in their community."

Smalls set up a few stations where older adults could get creative making different items for the tree.

Carolyn Bryant crafted an ornament.

"I am creative and I like to make things," says Bryant.

Gladys Ayers wrapped some gifts.

"It really was fun," says Ayers. "I like staying busy."

Both women are members and volunteers at Center in the Park.

"I love coming to the center," says Bryant. "This is the place if you want to meet new people and you want to make new friends."

"Sometimes people are home and alone," says Smalls. "So we like our members to come fellowship and socialize with us during the holidays."

Festive music was played, popcorn was strung, and ornaments were hung on the tree.

"We have our Center in the Park snow globes we created," says Smalls.

"It's just so much fun to come over here, because you know you're gonna have friendly faces and people you could talk to," says Ayers. "It's more like family."

"A lot of our seniors, this is like their second home," says Gilmer.

"It is known as the 'Gem in Germantown,' and that's true," says Bryant.

"One of our favorite like slogans is, 'You're never too old, It's never too late,'" says Smalls. "You can try something new here."

"It's the place to be for people over 55," says Juan Bacote, another member of Center in the Park.

Ayers says the center is "always doing nice things" and "always thinking of us."

"It's a blessing," she says.

"Every year, they always surprise me," says Smalls. "And just seeing their joy from creating the ornaments, it means a lot."

"It's inspiring to see them," says Gilmer.

For more information:

Center in the Park -

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging -

Center in the Park
5818 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19144