The Creston Valley Seniors Centre has a new paint job, an updated kitchen and room for new members.
The popular seniors’ facility, which opened in 1987, is located at 810 Canyon Street, just below the grain elevators. And, thanks to the work of member/volunteers, the plant beds that surround it have been tidied, making the building as inviting as the people who organize the events inside.
“I’m pretty proud of the grounds,” said association president Pauline Bullee. “We’ve really worked hard on them.”
Contributions from the Town of Creston and Regional District of Central Kootenay Area B helped pay the costs of the new paint job and another $5,000 from RDCK Area C was put toward new equipment in the kitchen, including a refrigerator.
“Like any non-profit organization, it’s a struggle to pay the bills,” said association member Karl Zimmerman. “But we somehow always manage.”
The association has a roster of 130 members, down from about 180 at its peak. For only $12 a year, membership is a bargain, allowing for participation in a variety of activities throughout the week. A new sign on the building’s exterior displays an activity schedule.
Scheduled weekly activities include bingo, carpet bowling, darts, crib and others. Pancake breakfasts are held on the last Sunday of each month and crib tournaments are held every couple of months.
“Somebody always gets a booby prize when we play cards,” past-president Harold Standen said. “I wonder who that was last week?”
He laughed as a smiling Bullee leaned over and swatted him on the shoulder.
Bullee said membership is open to anyone over the age of 50.
“But you don’t have to join right away,” she explained. “You are welcome to come in and try it for a while before you make a decision.”
Standen, a longtime Town of Creston employee and firefighter, said he joined the association “about six or seven years ago”, but Bullee said it has been longer.
“It was something to do,” he said. “My mother was a member and the other members said ‘Come on in.’ Now it’s getting a bit much as I get older but you’ve got to have something to do and this is a good place to do it in.”
Zimmerman and his wife, Agnes, joined in 1992 when they lived nearby. They have moved twice since, but the centre remains an important part of their lives.
“We like to be active and help wherever we can,” he said. “Agnes volunteers at the Gleaners, too.” (As does Bullee.)
Bullee said she was introduced to the association by a friend shortly after she moved to Creston.
“We came to play crib and all night long I stayed in one spot (winners move to different tables). I never moved and others started asking me if I wanted a pillow,” she laughed. “I never won one game all night long.”
That experience didn’t deter her, though, and she’s been going back ever since.
“The centre gives you something to do and you meet new people all the time,” she said. “What we do here is just pride and joy to me.”
Standen said that Pastor Harry Haberstock refers to the association president as the “Energizer Bullee Bunny” and her enthusiasm explains why. She loves to organize events and is well known for her special dinners.
“We’re planning a Ukrainian dinner for late October or early November,” she said. “It will open to the public and it will include cabbage rolls, perogies, sauerkraut, turkey, a special beet salad and desserts.”
Bullee has been working recently to involve members of the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors (TAPS) in club activities.
“Pauline never knows when to quit,” Standen said. “She drives me crazy.”
“That’s what keeps you young, Harold,” she grinned.
With their easy camaraderie, Bullee, Standen and Zimmerman make it obvious they love the seniors centre. To learn more about the Creston Valley Seniors Centre, drop in to any of the activities — you will surely feel welcome.