Members of the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors sang 'Creston Valley' to Creston town council on May 17.

Tips from TAPS: Staff, volunteers, participants bring energy to Creston seniors program

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Naturally there are considerable administrative, operational and practical considerations in running a day program like the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors. And a key aspect that feeds the energy for the program is the pleasure and, yes, fun that the staff, volunteers and participants incorporate into being together and meeting individual needs and necessities.

Acknowledging our volunteers, we hosted a thank you party with an Oscar theme complete with a red carpet, outrageous entertainment and awards. Thanks to Nellie for the Golden Barbies and the lurking paparazzi. The Village People even showed up singing “TAPS” (a.k.a. “YMCA”). Hot on the heels of this was a retirement party for Susan Langstaff, whose eight years with TAPS were acknowledged with a Hawaiian theme and, of course, the usual shenanigans.

We’ve mentioned Creston resident and TAPS participant Frank Brummet before as a poet and writer. As our band and choir collects songs for their repertoire, Frank’s rewriting of old favourites are peppered throughout our songbook. Inspired by celebrations of the Creston Valley Blossom Festival, we thought we’d share Frank’s version of “Red River Valley”, “Creston Valley”, at a town council meeting, which we did on May 17, and thank Joanna Wilson for the photo. It’s already being sung at Cresteramics, TAPS, Swan Valley Lodge and Crest View Village, and now the Lions Club has the words too. We hope you like it and will spread it around!

Thanks to the Blossom Valley Singers for asking us to cater for their spring tea and for the financial donation for TAPS. Thanks also to the volunteers who helped make it happen.

Volunteers in the kitchen today were busily washing and preparing mounds of kale and spinach from the Food Forest at the College of the Rockies. Our lunch menu benefits from such good seasonal and local food, and we appreciate it very much.

We were part of Focus on Youth this year with a display of our healthy multigenerational and intergenerational connections display. Funded by Service Canada through New Horizons for Seniors Program, the yearlong project resulted in youth and seniors sharing stories, projects, making connections and learning about each other with Grizzly Bear Out of School Care, Mormon Hills School and Wildflower School. Artists Val van der Poel, Pat Bredt, Win Dinn and the Valley Mudders guided some of the art projects. Putting the display together reminded us of the connections that developed and, judging by participants’ comments, the lasting value created by opportunities like this to explore community and culture in a broad sense. Thanks to Brenda Brucker of Focus on Youth, and the Community of Creston Arts Council for including us in what was a very wonderful community event at the Creston and District Community Complex.

Valley Community Services has just posted a student summer position for TAPS. Contact VCS at 250-428-5547 for full details. Closing date for applications is June 2.

Maureen Cameron is the community liaison co-ordinator for the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors.