Se­niors’ trans­porta­tion gets a boost

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - COMING UP - PETER LOZINSKI

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.”

PETER LOZINSKI/DAILY HER­ALD

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.

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