From left, Nancy Trimmer, of Harper Woods, Betty Bladdick and Rita Hofrichter, both of St. Clair Shores, peel apples for a pie fundraiser at the St. Clair Shores Senior Activity Center.

From left, Nancy Trimmer, of Harper Woods, Betty Bladdick and Rita Hofrichter, both of St. Clair Shores, peel apples for a pie fundraiser at the St. Clair Shores Senior Activity Center.

Photos by Kristyne E. Demske


With a little help from friends, Apple Pie Week returns to Shores

Apple pies on sale at St. Clair Shores Senior Activity Center

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published September 15, 2020

 Jannett Williams, left, and Lynn Gentz, both of St. Clair Shores, sort sliced apples for pies Sept. 15 at the Senior Activity Center.

Jannett Williams, left, and Lynn Gentz, both of St. Clair Shores, sort sliced apples for pies Sept. 15 at the Senior Activity Center.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — It’s a September tradition that, even in 2020, wasn’t to be broken — Apple Pie Week at the St Clair Shores Senior Activity Center.

“It’s something we definitely wanted to keep going,” said Matthew Hubinsky, director of the Senior Activity Center.

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the week of apple peeling and pie making looks a little different, but still brought the same friendly feel to the center.

“Everyone’s wearing a mask at all times. Everyone’s so happy to see each other ... and work together again,” he said.

Ingrid Meadows, of St. Clair Shores, agreed.

“Seeing everybody again, it was like losing a family here” while the center has been closed, she said while peeling apples Sept. 15. “It’s a nice place to come.”

“It’s fun. It’s getting out of the house. I like to socialize,” agreed Teri Gribbin, of St. Clair Shores. “I just miss being here.”

Apple Pie Week raises money for the senior lunch program at the center, which has been closed since the COVID-19 shutdown began. The Fitness Center opened earlier in September and Hubinsky said they have been providing curbside meal pickup to about 40 members for a while, as well.

“They’re really enjoying the meal program and saying, I can’t cook like this at home,” he said. “We may be the only people they see all day — which is really touching — to talk with them.”

While the center generally sells about 1,000 pies each year, this time the amount has been cut in half because the number of volunteers helping to peel and slice the apples and fill the pie crusts has been greatly reduced.

Only 10 volunteers were allowed to sit and peel apples in each room of the center, so about 20 volunteers were working each day, Hubinsky said. All underwent a COVID screening and had their temperature taken before getting to work with masks on their faces.

“It’s been a great tradition throughout many years. They are all sharing the stories about how long they’ve been here,” he said. “All these volunteers are very experienced, so they know. They come in, they’re knocking it out.”

Nancy Trimmer, of Harper Woods, said she was happy to be part of the fundraiser for the center.

“People like to get together and they’re a great group of people,” she said. “It would have been such a loss” if Apple Pie Week was canceled.

Another member, Rita Hofrichter, of St. Clair Shores, said she’s been volunteering for a decade and COVID wasn’t going to stop her this year.

“I got my temperature taken all summer at the pool,” she said. “You can’t stop living. I’m fine about being here.

“You do whatever needs to be done.”

This year’s pie sale was sponsored by The Hearing Loss Treatment Center, which covered the costs of all the supplies, as well as six other sponsors who helped provide lunch for volunteers or with other costs for the program.

The pies were sold via curbside pickup at the Senior Activity Center, 20000 Stephens, last week.

“We hope to be back to normal next year,” Hubinsky said.

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