By Randy Detweiler
“Spotlight on Seniors” with host Valerie McElvy is back by popular demand. Tune in on Sundays at 11 a.m. on Beaver County Radio 1230 WBVP/1460 WMBA and 99.3 FM to hear a new topic every week.
Many of you know Valerie. She has been active in the Beaver County community since the early 1970s. She has a passion for seeing what is needed in the community and making it happen. In addition to continuing her education and graduating from Geneva College in 2002 with a degree in Community Ministries, she has continued to be actively involved in Beaver County. Her new degree focuses on envisioning, planning, implementing, interpreting and communicating the word of God and making a positive impact on others.
In 2005, Valerie began her career as the director of the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). While involved with RSVP, she started a grandparent’s club, enabling grandparents to get closer to their grandkids. She also saw a need in area nursing homes, often just sitting and listening to seniors and hearing their histories. For example, she once met a woman, 89, who had moved to the United States from Spain. This woman had outlived all of her relatives and needed a companion to talk to. This prompted a breakfast club to be started, giving seniors a chance to meet, socialize, and find companionship and friendship — things that Valerie’s clubs importantly provide seniors.
While working for RSVP, Valerie began her role as host for the senior radio show, focusing on senior issues. The show continued to be senior-focused until 2020, when RSVP left Beaver County. Valerie continued working for the Franklin Center, which had sponsored RSVP, and the radio show continued with a different format. When Valerie announced her semi-retirement from the Franklin Center, her phone started ringing off the wall. Seniors were calling in to request that the show return to being focused on topics that are relevant to older adults. The Beaver County Office on Aging was contacted and stated they would be thrilled to start “Spotlight on Seniors” again. The first “new” show aired on July 4.
Valerie has had many other community roles, including with the New Brighton Junior Women’s Club, American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, The Lutheran Society, United Way, March of Dimes, The Leukemia Society, and the Mental Health Association, to name a few. She was also chair for the Parent Advisory Committee and presented countless parenting workshops across Pennsylvania and the United States. Valerie is a former library board member of New Brighton Library and has served on the New Brighton School District’s strategic planning committee. She has been involved with Big Brother Big Sisters, the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce, and served as facilitator for the Penn State Beaver Black Student Caucus.
You can tell that Valerie is never bored; she always finds another great cause to keep her busy. For fun, she is a public speaker, storyteller, actor and grandmother. Anyone who knows Valerie knows her passion, but also her sense of humor. Her main message to all she meets is to laugh often, treat others with kindness, and get involved in your community.
We thank Valerie for all her years of service and cannot wait to see what is next on her agenda. Don’t forget to tune into “Spotlight on Seniors” every Sunday at 11 a.m. on 99.3!
The Beaver County Office on Aging is excited to partner with Valerie to host the revival of the Beaver County Office on Aging Sunday morning broadcast “Spotlight on Seniors” on Beaver County Radio 1230 WBVP/1460 WMBA and 99.3 FM.
It is the Office on Aging’s plan to feature dynamic guests discussing an array of topics including Beaver County Office on Aging programs, other community programs for seniors, important older adult issues, interesting and helpful information, Beaver County history and much more!