Port Hope Town Center enjoys a productive year


After opening in the summer of 2020 when the pandemic was in full swing, the Port Hope Activity Center was able to thrive and grow in 2021.

Melinda Erssmeyer, who oversees all center programming, said they were able to maintain normal programming like pickleball three days a week and rent space for private events while also hosting new activities such as the manufacture of wooden panels.

The center also received the first $500 Agricultural Experiments Grant from the Huron County Community Foundation this year, which will help start a community garden next year and related programs. Erssmeyer also noted that the center’s website has also been updated to feature a virtual calendar so people can find out which days are available for hire.

“We’ve done a lot,” Erssmeyer said.

Other activities take place at the former Port Hope Community Schools, including training classes three days a week, hosting a Thumb Blessing Box, and hosting events as part of the 4 July and Port Hopes Christmas. These events are open to everyone, not just those who live near Port Hope.

“We have a lot of visitors and retirees of all ages,” Erssmeyer said.

Although final attendance figures for the events have not yet been calculated, Erssmeyer said the events have been as well attended as last year.

“We followed county health department regulations,” Erssmeyer said. “It was up to the people during the masked mandates to come or not to come.”

The center operates on both donations and money generated by renting spaces for private events. These range from renting the old school kitchen, gymnasium and cafeteria to simply renting tables and chairs.

For the coming year, Erssmeyer said the center plans to hold more takeout events and to host Port Hope 4th of July activities again on the center’s grounds.

The center is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday. Those interested in renting space can call 989-553-1196 or email PHactivitycenter@gmail.com.


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