Lois Paterson and Glenda Winger are a new team at the Seniors’ Activity Centre who are eager to share their enthusiasm for all the activities people can enjoy at the centre for very little cost.
Paterson was elected the Seniors’ Activity Centre president July 7 and replaces Dr. Pat Cullum in the position.
“My goal as president is to raise awareness about the centre and what it has to offer,” Paterson says.
“We have lovely lunches Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.”
Paterson has lived in Williams Lake since 1963 and started Lo’s Florist which is operated today by Tammy French. Her late husband Sid Paterson was a building contractor, logger and millwright. They raised seven children in Williams Lake. Paterson is also on the Glen Arbor senior’s housing board of directors.
Glenda Winger started in the position of centre manager at the end of August.
“Our new manager is just great,” says Paterson. “She thinks on the run.”
Born in Saskatchewan, Paterson came to Williams Lake when she was eight months old with her parents Jim and Iva Mowery.
Her husband, Vern Winger, works for Highlands Irrigation. Their daughter Alicia, 21, works at PetCetra in Kamloops and son David, 18, is taking a mining exploration course outside Smithers.
When her children were growing Paterson volunteered with her children’s school parent advisory groups and with their hockey and other sports organizations.
She has also worked at various jobs over the years including fork-lift operator, event co-ordinator and most recently receptionist for a local business.
“I want to encourage more seniors to come out, especially the younger seniors. There are lots of different groups to get involved with,” Winger says.
She says anyone 50 years of age or older can become a member for just $20 a year and participate in all of the activities offered at the center for very small fees.
Club fees are only 50 cents per activity on a drop-in basis.
Volunteers also cook lunches for very reasonable prices Monday through Friday, and other special events such as their monthly birthday dinners for all those who celebrate a birthday in that month.
The drop-in fee helps to cover the cost of heating the building, supplies and equipment replacement costs, Paterson explains.
The centre is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. week days for regular activities and there are often activities taking place evenings and on weekends. Saturdays there is bingo from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There are exercise classes at 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays, a senior’s choir that meets on Fridays, and a seniors’ walking group that meets most weekday mornings.
Other ongoing activities include Saturday bingo, musical groups, craft and painting groups, floor curling, carpet bowling, beginners and advanced bridge, Tai Chi, line dancing, poker, and armchair aerobics.
Computers are available at the centre for seniors to use. There are a variety of other activities including health and social support groups located at the centre. A seniors’ advocate is available to assist seniors with problems on Tuesdays from 1 to 3 p.m.
Both Paterson and Winger also encourage people to volunteer at the centre even if it one or two hours a week helping in the kitchen, helping with an activity such as bingo, or with other fundraisers such as hot dog sales, garage sales, clothing sales and leading the various activity groups.
“We are definitely looking for more volunteers,” Winger says.
Paterson adds expenses at the centre are currently outweighing income but that could change if more seniors became involved in using and volunteering at the centre.
“It is for seniors and run by volunteers,” Paterson says.
She adds they also raise funds by renting out the centre for meetings and events such as wedding receptions and family reunions which they hope to do more of this year. There are partitions which allow for smaller events and meetings to take place at the same time as other activities are taking place.
To call or inquire about joining, drop by the centre located on Fourth Avenue between the tennis courts and the Cariboo Memorial Complex or call 392-7946.