“This is what we do as a community. We can’t rely on government to do these things anymore,” Michael Carpenter said on Monday.
The reference was to RE/MAX Discovery Real Estate’s support of the Move to Improve (Parkinson’s) mobility and cognitive program that starts this week. RE/MAX realtor Sylvia White had just handed over a cheque for $1,690 that she and her colleagues raised from a huge garage sale last month.
In accepting the donation, Tia Wayling, fitness at Creston District Community Complex, said that partnerships with local businesses help keep down the costs of programs that focus on health. When she was approached by Marilin States to see if the Community Complex could offer an exercise program that targets people with Parkinson’s disease, she asked if States had any ideas for a sponsor.
“I said I did have an idea, and that I would get back to her,” States said. “But that night we had company, and before I could call the person I had in mind the phone rang. It was Michael Carpenter, asking what RE/MAX could do to support the program.”
Carpenter is a long-time friend of George Brown, whose visit to Creston in the spring got the ball rolling. He spoke to community groups and professionals about an exercise program that had dramatically increased his mobility and overall health over a two-year period.
“This program just makes sense,” Carpenter said.
Wayling said the interest in the program has been far greater than she anticipated, and that more Parkinson’s sufferers had called about the program than it can accommodate at the time.
“We might have to look at getting more instructors trained, because we want others, not only Parkinson’s patients, to be able to participate as well.”
RDCK Area C director Larry Binks, who represented the Creston Valley Health Working Group at the cheque presentation, is convinced that the program offers benefits to a wide range of people.
“I am committing $2,000 from our 2017 budget to help keep the costs down and make it available for as many people as possible. I think we have a great thing going here.”
Randy Fediuk, recreation manager at the community complex, said the support for the program has been gratifying, and that all the necessary pieces to the puzzle had fallen into place in a remarkably short time.
“Even the timing of the course our instructors had to take in the US worked perfectly,” Wayling added. “I am very excited that we are able to add these health care initiatives to our programming.”