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99-year-old Maple Ridge resident donates $20,000 to local programs

Joyce Herrod provided seniors in need with a free lunch event, topped with jazz performances

One Maple Ridge resident is proving that being charitable has no age restriction.

Joyce Herrod, who will be turning 100 years old next July, hosted a lunch for seniors in need on the weekend, where she gave away a free meal and donated $20,000 to local charities.

The Ridge Meadows Seniors Society (RMSS) hall event included performances by the Golden Ears Jazz Band, a speech from Councillor Ahmed Yousef, and an appearance from Santa and the Grinch.

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Herrod, who was born in Saskatchewan and later moved to B.C., spent much of her working life in the cannery industry, which took her all over the country and to even more exotic places like Australia and South Africa.

Throughout her life, she always found ways to give back to the community, especially to the Ridge Meadows Senior Centre. So she found it fitting that it would also host her charitable lunch on Saturday, Dec. 10.

After lunch had been eaten and the attendees had enjoyed the sounds of the band, Herrod was brought up in front of the crowd to formally present her charitable donations.

Counc. Yousef was the representative for the Friends in Need Food Bank and expressed his gratitude to Herrod as she handed him the $10,000 cheque.

Next up was Maria Perretta, the RMSS executive director, who called the $10,000 cheque for the society an “incredibly generous donation.”

“Joyce has always been a longtime supporter of RMSS in so many different capacities. As an RMSS volunteer, she’s always brought so much to our organization,” said Perretta.

“This isn’t the first time that she’s graced up with her generosity. She most recently recognized that we needed some formal cutlery for some of our events, and she made certain that we got it.”

Once the speeches had wrapped up, the Golden Ears Jazz Band went back to serenading the audience until Herrod was ready to put on a bit of a show.

Toward the end of the event, the Grinch showed up with a sack of stolen presents in hand. But that’s when Herrod came to the rescue, dragging the Grinch up in front of the audience and wrestling a stuffed koala bear from him before forcing the Grinch to give back the presents.

Herrod loved the experience, saying that she had even more fun than she thought she would.

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“The main thing we’re trying to do is give help to these people, but we also want to encourage others to do that too,” said Herrod.

“I think most of them enjoyed this. The ones I talked to did. And I got across what I was trying to tell them.”

She explained that it felt “wonderful” to be able to give back with this event.

“I’ve only given back in a small way before, but I was lucky this year, and I wanted other people to enjoy all this.”

Herrod acknowledge her age when asked if she hopes to be able to give back with more events like this, and said she’s “taking it one day at a time.”

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Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
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