The Creston Valley Seniors Association is hoping to get back to regular activities as soon as provincial health restrictions will allow. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)

The Creston Valley Seniors Association is hoping to get back to regular activities as soon as provincial health restrictions will allow. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)

Creston Valley Seniors Association hopes to start up activities again soon

Before the pandemic, weekly activities included bingo, darts, pool, TaiChi, whist, crib, canasta, and line dancing

Seniors are a very important part of our community, especially since they are the majority of the local population.

According to the 2016 Census from Statistics Canada, 37 per cent of Creston’s population are people over the age of 65.

As such, the Creston Valley Seniors Association has been a pillar in the community over the years with weekly activities such as bingo, darts, pool, TaiChi, whist, crib, canasta, and line dancing.

“A lot of seniors look forward to our activities and look forward to getting out of the house,” said President John Pawelko, who has lived in Creston since 1964. He became president in 2018 and also volunteers at Gleaners Two, across the street from the hall.

Pancake breakfasts were also hosted on the last Sunday of the month. And on the first Saturday of the month, seniors got together for a music jam, led by Jack Balzer, that was open to the public for listening (by donation).

Unfortunately, the hustle and bustle of the local hall at 810 Canyon Street has been shutdown over the last year because of the pandemic. There has been a significant drop to 34 members from 110 last year.

Pawelko is hoping to get things going again, now that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“As soon as the government says we can, we will re-open with all of our activities and functions,” he said. “A lot of the seniors really miss bingo, especially. It was one of the main activities that they really enjoyed. We would have between 30 to 40 people come out on Mondays for that.”

Currently, the only program being offered is TaiChi, taught by Barry Freeman, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Since it is a low impact exercise, seniors are able to safely participate while physically distanced.

Annual membership cards are now available for $12 for the full year, or just $1 a month.

Pawelko said that the Seniors Association is in need of support from the community. The only fundraiser he’s been able to hold in recent months was a Mother’s Day raffle that raised $910, which was a decrease from $1,600 in previous years.

For more information on activities or to make a donation, contact John Pawelko at 250-428-6065 or visit the Creston Valley Seniors Association Facebook page.

READ MORE: TAPS: ‘Seniors’ hidsight should be celebrated’

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