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PF Senior Center director to retire

by Brian Walker
| November 17, 2010 8:00 PM

POST FALLS - Marie Fish says she's ready to downshift.

Fish, who has been the executive director of the Post Falls Senior Center for the past five and a half years, said she's stepping down to relax and spend more time with her husband.

"I just got old and I'm going to retire," said Fish, 74. "I still be hope to be involved through the (Post Falls) Community Volunteers, but I just need to rest myself."

Her last day will be Nov. 30.

The center has about 400 members, 85 volunteers and six part-time workers. The annual budget is about $185,000. About 500 meals are delivered to homes each month to complement the lunches that are offered three times a week.

Fish said she has enjoyed her position and it has been rewarding.

"We've started a lot of new programs and activities and we've replaced or repaired just about everything in the building," she said. "I've made a lot of wonderful friends in the community. Fundraising is the hardest thing to do, but I've met some great people that way.

"It's been a really good experience."

Fish said leading a nonprofit during tough times is a demanding job.

"It's been a hard year for all nonprofits because of the economy," she said. "I was working harder and had less to show for it. They need a person with more energy."

Fish was the center's bookkeeper for several years during two different stints before becoming the director, but still kept the books in her leadership role.

Jackie McAvoy, the center's board president, said Fish will be missed.

"She bailed us out of a tough financial situation when she took over the management," McAvoy said. "She's made sure we've stayed solvent and we have no debt."

Under Fish, the center took on several improvement projects, including a new furnace, floor, paint inside and out, kitchen equipment and home delivery warming bags.

McAvoy said Fish has discussed retirement in the past, so the decision was not a surprise.

A search to find Fish's replacement is under way. The full-time job pays $15 per hour.

"We're not going to rush into things and the board realizes that it will need to take on a more active role until we make a selection," McAvoy said.

McAvoy said now is a good time to evaluate the future of the center and consider possible small changes.

She said the board would like to see the center open five days a week rather than just three and it may look into more physical activities to offer the Baby Boomer generation, possibly taking advantage of the Centennial Trail which goes by the center.

Maintaining volunteers and self-sufficiency will be key, McAvoy said.

"Now is a perfect time to look at the programs and consider what to add to the center," McAvoy said. "We look at it as a positive thing for our seniors and other groups that use the facility. We still want this to be a special place to go."

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