The Hub City Senior Center prom started shortly after Director Connie Dougherty did.
“We have pictures displayed all over of the people who were named king and queen,” Dougherty said. “It's just been so much fun and rewarding and everyone loves it so much.”
Memories of the prom stand out most for Dougherty when she reflects on her time as director. She’ll be retiring at the end of this month after 20 years.
Dougherty said she won’t miss the paper and office work that’s required by the job. What made the decision to retire tough was the people. That’s what she’ll miss most. Unfortunately as part of the job, she’s already had to learn how to do that.
“Because these people become family,” Dougherty said. “Over these 20 years I've lost so many of them and they've left big holes in my heart. In that way it's been difficult, but it's also been so rewarding because to be able to help people and to love on them and make a difference in their lives and bring them joy and happiness, you can't put a price on that."
Dougherty has always enjoyed working and interacting with older people. That comes from her parents, whom she called “giving, loving” people.
She’ll be spending her retirement with her family and a lot of time up at their cabin in Wisconsin.
Friday, May 21 will be Connie Dougherty Day at the senior center. Everyone is invited to stop by the senior center between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. for a celebration.
Dougherty will be replaced by Diana King, who has been senior service program manager for four senior centers in DeKalb County.
“She's very bright and bubbly,” Dougherty said. “They're all going to love her."
The senior center has changed in appearance during Dougherty’s time as director.
“We've redone the whole outside of the building,” Dougherty said. “The whole inside has been remodeled. It used to be real dark because of the lighting and now it's bright."
The COVID-19 pandemic unfortunately came at the end of Dougherty’s tenure. She recalls getting calls “all the time” asking when the center would reopen. She was concerned about the seniors every day.
“It was so funny when we reopened and people all started coming in, it was like we hadn't missed a day,” Dougherty said. “We picked right back up where we were. It was pretty rewarding.
“I'm going to miss the people terribly. I'm going to miss seeing everyone everyday.”