Seniors’ transportation gets a boost
Eleanor George doesn’t know where she would be without the senior’s transportation offered by the Community Services Centre.
The service, supported by the Two Miles for Mary fundraising campaign, provides door-to-door attendant transportation for seniors, five days a week. “It’s a godsend,” George said. “A quarter to nine in the morning I go to exercise. A quarter after ten, I go home. Then, I go to Mont St. Joseph to volunteer. I need a car then. I might need groceries some time in-between. The drivers are the most wonderful people. If I shop too much, they carry everything and put it in my house. Sometimes I share a box of chocolates with them, but they just never complain about helping out all us old guys.”
George is a passionate advocate for the service, and a former ‘Mary’, a title given to one senior each year that is passionate about the transportation service.
George, as well as current Mary Gloria Mahussier, was on hand Wednesday as the Co-op and three different credit unions presented a cheque for $4,134.05 to the Community Service Centre.
Cara Stelmaschuk of Lake Country Co-op said the money came from an annual barbecue. The Co-op and credit unions provide volunteers, while the Children’s Choice Child Development Centres contributed volunteers for kids’ activities.
This year’s event was the most successful ever. Kelsey Fetch performed and the fundraiser raised more than it ever has.
When the organizers were looking for somewhere to donate the proceeds, they discovered the Community Service Centre.
“Last year we donated to SHARE, and someone had mentioned the Community Service Centre,” Stelmaschuk said. “We didn’t know what they did, so we Googled them, found their website and clicked on the services tab. Wow, they do a lot. I there is an organization hat needs some cash it’s this one, because they have a lot to do in a day. That’s why we thought it sounded like a good place to put our money.”
According to Stelmaschuk, for the Co-op, Affinity Credit Union Conexus Credit Union and Diamond North Credit Union, giving back is important.
“It’s part of the mandate of our business (to be) involved in the community,” she said.
“(It’s) good corporate citizenship. You have a lot of choices when it comes to where you put your money and where you spend your money. People who look for those organizations in their community – those are the kinds of shoppers we have and the kind of credit union members they have. They want to be involved with a company that gives back.”
While the service centre offers an abundance of programs, chief executive officer Bill Powalinsky said the money will be used to help offset operating costs of the seniors’ transportation program.
“This is the 30th anniversary for our fundraising program, Two Miles for Mary … a fundraising drive for the seniors’ transportation program, so we’re going to dedicate this to funding that program,” he said.
“We’ve expanded the service a little by this year by operating another vehicle for an extra two days a week. If we get sufficient funds, we’d like to be able to run a car on Saturdays as well.”
George is pleased the seniors’ transportation will be receiving extra funding. She often donates to the project, and believes anyone who is able should as well.
“I really feel those of us who can afford to pay to help keep this program going really should, as it’s most important,” she said.
“Without this service, I don’t know what some people would do. If we couldn’t have a car to go to the doctor, to go for groceries or whatever we need, there would just be a stagnant town.”
Top photo: Lake Country Co-op presented the Community Services Centre with a $4,134.05 cheque Wednesday. The funds will be used for the seniors’ transportation program. Pictured, from left to right, is Valerie Berscheid, Sheila Goertzen, Eleanor George, Gloria Mahussier, Cara Stelmaschuk, Monica Bonneau and Gwen Fremont.
Bottom photo: The seniors’ transportation vehicle arrives to take Eleanor George and Gloria Mahussier home.