The Trail Senior Citizens Branch 47 made the most of a very generous farewell gesture.
The seniors branch donated $90,000 to Trail Association for Community Living (TACL), and $36,000 to the Trail Salvation Army last week in preparation of its imminent closure next month.
The donation follows an earlier announcement that the branch, after 60 years, was officially closing its doors Dec. 31.
With no interaction due to members not being permitted in, and no money coming in, the pandemic made it impossible for the Trail branch to continue.
“We are really going to miss it,” said branch vice president Evelyn Jones. “We have so much fun, we have filled our time with something useful and something that has kept the community involved. It’s very sad.”
The seniors centre supported the Food Service Worker Program at the Selkirk College Trail campus, and donated thousands to community groups over the years.
Branch 47, located in the Greater Trail Community Centre, provided a social hub for Trail seniors that offered bingo and Canasta, banquets, dances, card games, and hot meals throughout the year, as well as musical performances and presentations from healthcare providers and others.
Although gone, executive members, president Darlene McIsaac, secretary treasurer Wilbur Wostradowski, and vice president Jones efforts won’t stop.
“We’re going to find other things to do to help others,” said Jones.
TACL plans to put the donated funds toward the purchase of a wheelchair accessible van, while the Trail Salvation Army has a number of projects on the go that will aid the community.
“We’re hoping to use some of the money to renovate our church space to make it more accessible for the elderly,” said Salvation Army pastor Andrew Sweet. “We’re going to be starting up some new programs for girls age 12-18, and we’re working on moving our Kate’s Kitchen location and renovating our Thrift Store space, so we have all of our services under one roof.”
TACL has been providing support and services to people with diverse needs for over 65 years and has worked closely with Trail seniors in the past.
With the generous donation, Community Living’s transportation needs will be met and Executive Director Nancy Gurr expects the van purchase finalized soon and modifications for the wheelchair ramp completed early in the new year.
“We are very grateful,” said Gurr. “We are in the process of working with AM Ford and pretty close to pinning down what we want, and a vehicle to get retro-fitted.
“It’s going to be really well used,” she added.