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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Hyde Park Center for Older Adults Marks 45 Years with Gala Celebration

Shelley Goering, Carol Jackson, Hyde Park, Ric McFarland, Terri Hogan celebrate at the Hyde Park Center Gala
By Grace DeGregorio
Photos by Teresa Lynn Photography

A large gathering of founding organizations, board members, donors, administrators, staff, volunteers and well-wishers joined to mark the 45th anniversary of the Hyde Park Center for Older Adults. Held at The Summit Hotel, the gala event celebrated the organization’s history as well as its future.

History of the Center:
The 1970 census showed Hyde Park had the highest concentration of older adults in the entire state.  In response, in April 1974 Rev. Kenneth Clarke, Lee Home Executive Director and Executive Vice President of Memorial Homes Foundation (now Episcopal Retirement Services) gathered a group at Marjorie P. Lee Home to discuss the need for a multi-service center for older adults. 

In attendance were representatives from the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Hyde Park Baptist Church, Hyde Park Bethlehem United Methodist Church, Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church, Knox Presbyterian Church, Memorial Homes Foundation (Episcopal Retirement Services), Our Lord Christ the King Church and St. Mary Church. 

Quick on the heels of this crucial meeting, one month later the first proposal for funding of a center for older adults, under Title III of the Older Americans Act, was submitted to the Council on Aging. That October, the Hyde Park Center - working out of a car to provide outreach and assistance to neighborhood seniors - hired Jane Carothers as its first Executive Director.  The following January 1975, Memorial Homes Foundation (Episcopal Retirement Services) leased a home it had purchased at 3545 Edwards Road to the Center.

In April 1978, with growth in the operations of the Center, Memorial Homes Foundation (Episcopal Retirement Services) made a new purchase - a church building at 2800 Erie Avenue on the fringe of Hyde Park Square - which was leased and renovated by the agency.

With support by United Way and membership in the Community Chest, on April 14, 1980 the Center dedication and grand opening was held with 2,000 people attending.  The funds for the renovation of the building were raised in a Capital Fund Drive - which yielded a phenomenal tripling of the original goal - led by Burr Robinson and John Stith.

Jean Kearns became the second Executive Director in 1986, followed in 1989 by Deb Cyprych - who remained in that position until the end of 2018. The subsequent decades have seen the growth of the Center in membership, breadth of services and reach to several communities outside of Hyde Park thanks to various grants, bequests and donations. 

Pointing to the future, in December 2018 Shelley Goering became the fourth Executive Director.  She confidently looks to a bright future for the Center.  Its newsletter, Center-fold, is filled every month with member news as well as upcoming Center activities and events, updates on services and acknowledgment of donors.  Transportation, meals, activities and social services are the focus of the Center, where adults age 55+ are welcome to participate while enjoying the camaraderie of others as well in a warm, caring environment provided by the following invaluable staff:

Cathy Colque - Assistant Executive Director
Susan Pittman - Social Services Director
Lee Eyerman - Meals Supervisor
Barbara Ann Davis and Sharon Ruotolo  - Receptionists
Diane Richardson - Kitchen Assistant
Dale Davis and Thomas Seta  - Drivers

Dan Hendricks, HPC President, Board of Trustees, Mt. Lookout and Dr. John Keefe, HPC Board Chair Emeritus, Hyde Park 

The Gala:
All who had helped found, shape and support the success of the Hyde Park Center received special acknowledgment at the Gala.  Included was Hyde Park Living, which has had a long and cordial relationship with the Center and its members. 

Following a reception, with music provided by Melodic Connections as guests browsed the silent auction items,  Dan Hendricks, President of the Center’s Board of Directors, began the program with a welcome to all. The Reverend of Knox Presbyterian Church then gave the Invocation.

Tanya O’Rourke, News Anchor and Reporter for WCPO-TV, served as the event emcee.

(Front) Ginny Uehlin, Hyde Park and David Lowry, Hyde Park, (Rear) Lillian Dartnall 
Cecil Rahe and Kathy Wesseldyk, Hyde Park
As dinner was served, Cincinnati Councilman Greg Landsman read a Proclamation from Mayor John Cranley (of Hyde Park) in honor of the occasion.  A “Celebration” video was shown, vividly summarizing the many ways the Center enriches the lives of its members and the community.
Gala Chair Terri Hogan introduced the Gala Committee: Molly Prues, Gina Elliott, Brad Hoicowitz, Rebecca Goodman, Kathy DeLaura and Lisa Raterman.

Gina Elliott, HPC Board Member and Jan Walton 
Artist Felix Eboigbe, Hyde Park, with some admirers - one of his sculptures brought in welcome funds for the Center during the Live Auction.
Executive Director Shelley Goering presented keynote speaker Dr. Rick Warm, whose  topic was “A New Light on Aging.”  With an MBA and PhD, Dr. Warm is a coach, consultant and director of The Center for Wisdom and Leadership. In addition, he serves as the 2020 Resident Scholar at the Center.
Capping off the evening was a live auction, offering a number of great items that resulted in enthusiastic bidding.

To learn more about the Hyde Park Center for Older Adults, please call 513-321-6816 or visit

Deb Cyprych HPC Former Executive Director, Dick Adams, HPC Board Member, Hyde Park 
Shelley Goering, Cathy Colque and your humble editor Grace DeGregorio - what a wonderful night it was! 
Jason Cooper, Richards Industries, Former Board Member and Michelle Cooper, HPC Treasurer of the Board 

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