Cresteramics Chatter: Creston program members starting fall programs

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Terry Nowak is a board member of the Cresteramics Society.

Terry Nowak is a board member of the Cresteramics Society.

Now that fall is here, Cresteramics members are back at all their regular activities and a few new ones.

The youth summer program, appropriately named Cresteramics Dream Team 2014, celebrated the success of their summer activities at a presentation at the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 16. They unveiled two large colourful murals that reflect Creston’s bounty and show how strong community partnerships benefit all of us. These murals will be mounted on the concrete walls facing the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market. Tie-dyed T-shirts were another product of this program and the extra ones they made are for sale at the Cresteramics store. The teens who produced the T-shirts have decided that all profits from their sale will go to the Creston and District Society for Community Living’s Therapeutic Riding Program.

Participants in this program learned about their community, to work together for the benefit of others and to have fun. Our community benefited from their energy, positive attitudes and willingness to share. Plans are for this group to continue weekly adventures through the winter months and to grow to include a parent involvement component. Right now we are seeking funds to support this plan. Thank you to the local businesses and individuals who contributed to this project.

There are too many programs happening at Cresteramics to put in these columns so I will describe different ones to you each column I submit. The work crew that helps out at the Creston Valley Public Library is always anxious to do their best there because they are so very well supported by the library staff. They are proud to have a job and to be part of the community.

We are back at Adam Robertson Elementary School to be part of its music program twice a week, and this program is loved by the students as well as the Cresteramics members. A special thank you to Monte Anderson, who played the piano for us during our summer music activities, and welcome back to Johanna Wilson, who accompanies us every Thursday afternoon at ARES. When people like Johanna and Monte share their time, skills and energy, we all benefit.

Two other regular programs that are starting up again are skating at the Creston and District Community Complex, a favourite, and the Monday afternoon women’s group. This is a member-driven group that allows participants to learn more about themselves, explore topics of interest to them and to get support from professionals in health care fields. Again, funds are needed to make this activity successful. We also have an advisory committee that consists of members and a community volunteer. These members function as the link between the members and board and staff.

Participating in activities already happening in Creston made sense to our staff members, so Cresteramics members are joining Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors members for Tai Chi on Tuesday afternoons. Tai Chi has been a popular and positive activity at TAPS for many years. Barry and Judy Freeman donate their time and skills to lead this activity. The other new program is a life skills activity that sees members taking the Health Connections bus to Cranbrook on Thursdays. For some people, this is a new activity that offers the opportunity to travel from Creston with a group of peers. It is supported by Cresteramics staff members who use this activity to reinforce appropriate behaviors, teach money management skills and allow Cresteramics members a chance to take advantage of community resources.

The Cresteramics staff is looking forward to training in dementia, an area of interest because more information allows them to better serve the Cresteramics members. Cresteramics has just held its annual general meeting and is looking forward to a year that includes accreditation to meet provincial requirements. With hard work and community support, we will achieve this goal. Thank you to the Downtowner Motor Inn, whose owners generously give us space for our monthly meetings and our annual general meeting.

As I read through this column, I am reminded of how strong our Cresteramics members and staff are, and how they maintain this strength with the support of our community.

Terry Nowak is a board member of the Cresteramics Society.