Wanda McIntosh dances with Bruce Grainger

Seniors program revived by Lions

Seniors left out in the cold when government funding dried up for the Time Out program are now basking in an outpouring of community-based care and comfort spearheaded by the Mount Cheam Lions Club.

Seniors left out in the cold when government funding dried up for the Time Out program are now basking in an outpouring of community-based care and comfort spearheaded by the Mount Cheam Lions Club.

“I think it’s wonderful what they’re doing for us,” said 84-year-old Helen Rempel.

She said the hot meals, the bingo and dart games, the exercise and entertainment provided by volunteers is “a real pick-me-up” for seniors who might otherwise feel isolated and alone.

“It’s absolutely gorgeous,” she said.

Last January, the Chilliwack Seniors Resources Society announced it couldn’t continue operating the Time Out program after the Fraser Health Authority chopped in half its share of the $142,000 budget.

But in March, the Mount Cheam Lions Club decided to try out a scaled-down “coffee-and-cookies” version of the program – and were surprised by the interest shown by seniors.

“It went over like fireworks on the First of July,” said club spokesman Allen Hunt.

So the decision was made to offer a full program of hot lunch, bingo and dart games on Tuesdays, and with help from others in the community, a second day of exercise and entertainment on Thursdays was added.

“We found all sorts of people that were willing to help us along the way,” Hunt said. “It’s really developing a life of its own.”

The “wonderful” hot meals Rempel described are coming from student kitchens at the University of the Fraser Valley, and three student volunteers from the Chilliwack School District come to the Thursday program.

“The seniors just love these kids,” Hunt said.

And more people are volunteering for the program after they realize the difference they are making to the seniors, he said.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize how seniors can start to feel isolated after spouses and friends pass away,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for them to get out and socialize.”

Seniors who want more information about attending the program can call Paul Keating at 604-858-1894. Volunteers are asked to call the club at 604-792-3810.

rfreeman@theprogress.com

twitter.com/paperboy2

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Upper Fraser Valley RCMP re-open community policing offices

CPOs have been closed for weeks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but re-opened Tuesday

PHOTOS: Sunbathers soak up the warm weather at Cultus Lake Park

Temperatures reached a high of 25 degrees celsius on Tuesday, marking the hottest day of July so far

RCMP ask for assistance to find missing Chilliwack man

Raymond Gene Jarvis has been missing since early July

Popkum fire chief urges caution after Saturday rescue from Bridal Veil Falls

11-year-old boy was stable, fire chief Walter Roos said, when delivered to a waiting ambulance

City of Chilliwack watching RCMP unionization process carefully

‘We know that this will impact our RCMP contract once an agreement is reached’ – Mayor Ken Popove

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Mission spray park closed after children suffer swollen eyes, burns

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner brings ‘objectivity’ to the job

Vancouver lawyer Reece Harding is Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner, also a first for B.C.

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

19 times on 19th birthday: Langley teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Professional basketball in Canada begins return to action with COVID-19 testing

Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Bandits, six other CEBL teams arrive in Ontario for Summer Series

Most Read