Stage It Right partners Debbie Duffy and Kristen Cornier present an award to Cindy Lawson and Sharon Lane of the Plymouth Senior Center for being voted winners of the company’s re-design contest. (Ashley Finethy) (click for larger version)
February 22, 2012PLYMOUTH—Several local nonprofit organizations gathered at the Plymouth Senior Center on Feb. 14 to hear the winner of Stage It Right's recent office makeover contest announced.
The Senior Center itself was named the winner at the conclusion of last week's event.
"We have an office that is shared by seven people," said Senior Center staff member Cindy Lawson. "It's a decent size, but we have three bus drivers, a person that does statistics, the gift shop and the book keeper that all share the same office. So it is a little cramped. The office also has our fax machine and photocopier."
With a room that serves so many different purposes, Stage It Right has their work cut out for them, but the ladies plan to get started as soon as possible.
"We will get started as soon as we can," said Kristen Cornier of Stage It Right. "Even today, if we have time, we will set a base; if not, we will do it this week and make a plan of what we would like to do. We would love to have it done in a month or so, if we could."
The Senior Center had some serious competition, with a number of other nonprofits vying for the makeover, including The Circle Program, Pemi Youth Center, The Bridge House and the Care Net Pregnancy Center.
"I think that everyone voted because they were passionate about it," said Lawson. "I think they see all of the stuff that goes on here and know it's a great center."
There were several ways in which community members could vote. There were posters with codes you could scan to vote by Smartphone, Stage It Right's Facebook page had a new poll every day, the Stage It Right Web site also had online voting, and then there was the good old fashioned ballot box — which was, surprisingly, still the most popular way to vote.
"The biggest game changer was the ballot boxes," said Stage It Right's Debbie Duffy. "When we went to pick them up on Friday and count them, we were just amazed by the number of people that voted. More people voted through he ballot box than any of the other three ways we had. We had 1,000 votes, and 700 were from the ballot boxes."
The seniors at the center proved to be very diligent with voting on a daily basis.
"We were so excited about how many of the seniors voted," said Duffy. "The ballot box was just stuffed full, so those seniors voted every day, and were diligent about voting once every day for ten days."
The Senior Center's "regulars" are generally so involved with whatever is going on at the center that the staff wasn't surprised to see them extremely involved with this event, as well.
"There is always something going on," said center staff member Sharon Lane. "We always have a program or buy a raffle ticket, or jump in and tell us what your favorite mean is, or you tell us what dessert you want today. We always have something going on that keeps everyone involved."
The seniors see all of the hard work and dedication that the staff puts into the center, she explained, and the staff views that appreciation for their hard work as the source of the incredible amount of votes.
"I think everyone voted because they were passionate about it," said Lane. "I think they see all of the hard work that goes on here, and it's a great center."
With the staff's time spent on programs and taking trips, the office needs a little TLC.
"I am hoping we will get some organization out of the project, and that it will look pretty," said Lane, who was beyond surprised that the center won.
With the winner chosen, the work has only begun for Stage It Right. The ladies hope to complete this project in around a month's time, but are really focused on making the space something functional for the seven people sharing the space.
"I think our priority will be to talk to them to see how the space is used," said Duffy. "Ask 'How would you like it to function? What works? What doesn't work?' We will un-clutter, organize and maybe get everything more functional for them because the space is used by many people. If they can work together and share a space and find something that works for them, that will be a good thing. Hopefully in a short amount of time we'll be able to have something for people to see. Either pictures or, if the Senior Center will let us, have an open house."
Stage It Right will be working diligently over the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for the progress!