Local not-for-profit organizations worked to ensure older adults were celebrated during Seniors’ Week.
From June 5 until June 11, there was a variety of events, programs, and activities designed around older adults in the community.
Seniors’ Week kicked off with opening ceremonies and tea at City Hall on June 5, followed by a guided bike and walking tour around Chestermere Lake, and a presentation from the Chestermere Historical Foundation all about the origin of various place names around the city.
On June 7, the Older Adults’ Coalition of Chestermere (OACC), and Synergy partnered for a day at Camp Chestermere.
The day included a poutine bar lunch and desserts from local businesses, outdoor games sponsored by Synergy, pontoon boat tours, and a trade show of local services and supports available for older adults in Chestermere.
“We celebrated seniors in Chestermere for the week. We were getting people together, getting people to mingle, to enjoy the food, and then enjoy activities. We had our own little Olympics going on, and the biggest draw was the pontoon boat,” OACC Secretary Betty Illingworth said.
The poutine bar lunch brought out more than 60 individuals, while the afternoon filled with activities and pontoon boat tours had more than 80 registrants.
“We had a great bunch of people, one of the best turnouts we’ve had in years,” Illingworth said.
“The best thing today was seeing the diversity of our attendees. We had all corners of our community attend, and it was wonderful to see everybody spending time together, and getting to know each other,” OACC Co-Chair Joanne Lemna said. “That’s what community is all about.”
Morgan Matheson of the Chestermere Women’s Crisis Society said the day at Camp Chestermere was wonderful.
She added, hosting events to celebrate older adults is important to the local not-for-profit community.
“It’s good to recognize and acknowledge the contributions that seniors have given back to the Chestermere community, and this really helps to acknowledge that,” Matheson said.
Illingworth added, that for her as a senior, it’s nice to have the community recognize the older adult population.
“There’s a large variety of seniors, and we count. We have things we can do for people and things we can share with people,” Illingworth said. “We don’t all just stay in our homes, we like to get out, we like to talk with people, and we like to eat.”
The day at Camp Chestermere was followed by a pancake breakfast and information sessions, tours of Lakeshore Manor, an open games night at the Whitecappers, and closing ceremonies featuring Bhangra dances, musical entertainment, and food trucks at John Peake Park.
“The diversity of people coming is so nice to see, and we can hope for bigger and better in the coming years,” Illingworth said.
Seniors’ Week wouldn’t have been possible without volunteers, not-for-profits, and the Seniors’ Week Planning Group.
“None of this happens without volunteers, we had a great group of not-for-profits, and some businesses that participated in the Seniors Planning Group,” Lemna said. “It was a great group, everybody pitched in, everybody was giving of themselves and their organizations, it was amazing.”
OACC is seeking more volunteers, and a vice-chair to help with leadership.
To join the OACC email Lemna at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Illingworth at, email@example.com, or visit an OACC meeting on the third Wednesday of every month from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Lakeshore Manor.
“What’s nice about the OACC is we do things, we’re not just a social networking group, we actually accomplish things,” Illingworth said.