State College

Valentine’s Day marked by hugs at The Village at Penn State

Ramona Hughes sips a glass of “love potion” during Tuesday’s Valentine’s Day luncheon at the Atrium at the Village at Penn State.
Ramona Hughes sips a glass of “love potion” during Tuesday’s Valentine’s Day luncheon at the Atrium at the Village at Penn State. psheehan@centredaily.com

Come for the company, stay for the heart-shaped doughnuts.

On Tuesday, The Village at Penn State’s Atrium Health Care Center celebrated Valentine’s Day with its annual sweetheart luncheon and hug competition.

Residents wore paper hearts around their necks displaying the signature of everyone they’d begged, borrowed or stolen an embrace from earlier that morning.

It has become a fantastic tradition for the residents and the staff.

Dana Gregg

“It has become a fantastic tradition for the residents and the staff,” Dana Gregg, The Village’s activities director, said.

As of lunchtime, the final tally still hadn’t been counted — possibly to account for any champagne-related inflation — but guests seemed content to chat among themselves, noshing underneath small clouds of rose-colored balloons.

Mark and Michelle Gainer had traveled all the way from Lancaster to spend the day with her mother, Ramona Hughes.

This reminds them that this is Valentine’s Day and hopefully they’re with somebody they care about and love.

Michelle Gainer

Even after 12 years at The Village, Hughes still doesn’t take for granted the kindness of the staff, many of whom wore red or pink clothing in honor of the occasion.

“They have a lot of nice people who work here, they really do,” Hughes said.

Michelle Gainer thinks that events like the sweetheart luncheon help to keep the residents of the retirement community engaged.

“This reminds them that this is Valentine’s Day and hopefully they’re with somebody they care about and love,” Gainer said.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready

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