NEW BETHLEHEM – Looking forward to life in a post-pandemic world, the Redbank Valley Community Center is ready to face the future with the aid of newly hired office manager.
Linda Emhoff joined the center as its new office manager Sept. 29, saying that she hopes to see the downtown New Bethlehem facility continue to thrive in the Redbank Valley area.
Emhoff, a lifelong Clarion County resident who now lives in the New Bethlehem area, is a graduate of Clarion Area High School and worked for several years in the accounting department at Clarion Boards.
“I’ve lived in the area my whole life,” Emhoff said, noting that her parents previously owned Ragley’s Bowling Alley in Clarion.
Emhoff said that she first became familiar with the RVCC when she moved to New Bethlehem.
“I was reading the newspaper and the Community Center blurb actually appealed to me,” she said. “I think that what I like most is that it’s open for anything [community related] that’s going on and [available] if someone needs a place for a meeting.”
That initial awareness eventually led to her offering her service as a volunteer for the Community Center and many of its activities.
Emhoff said that while the position may be new for her, the responsibilities are not.
“It’s not new for me to do fundraising and be in charge of activities,” she said, noting that she was active in many committees and fundraisers for her children’s activities while they were growing up. “I’ve just never gotten paid to volunteer.”
When it comes to her new responsibilities at the RVCC, Emhoff said that she will do mostly the same thing that previous directors have done. She added, however, that, because of the COVID restrictions, fundraising events at the center have been put on hold.
“I’m here to keep the center open and be a presence,” she said. “When I applied back in March, board members had been filling in [to handle] the phone calls, the Facebook page and all that.”
Emhoff noted that once fundraising can get back into full swing, the center hopes to hire someone to manage fundraising and events.
“For right now [the board] thought they would do a two-step thing since they don’t need a fundraising person right now because of COVID.”
Noting that she might eventually be tasked with the fundraising responsibility, Emhoff said that she has already started to brainstorm and has even discussed some potential ideas with the board. Although nothing is official, she did say, however, that one of the primary responsibilities would be coordination and awareness of what other community groups and organizations are doing.
“One of the big challenges will be finding out what the chamber does, what the fire departments and schools do,” she said. “New Bethlehem is only so big and you can’t have two big activities going on at the same time.”
While the weeks since her start date have been good for learning the system and getting a feel for businesses and people in the community, Emhoff is looking forward to a productive future with the Community Center.
“I’m always up for challenges, so I’m excited to see how much advancement I can make in my time here,” she said. “I’m hoping that the 10 hours a week are enough for me to be able to do what I’d like to do.”
Emhoff lives with her husband, Bob, whom she married in August. She has two children, two step-children, two grandchildren and four step-grandchildren.
The RVCC is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information on the center and its offerings, call (814) 457-5033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.