FABULOUS: Seniors centre staffer shares sampling of inspirational elders

Send in your Fabulous Senior picture to contests@mapleridgenews.com before end of day Monday

Vanessa De Freitas has seen first hand how the effects of the COVID pandemic are hitting the community of seniors, and during seniors week she chose to share some pictures of just a few of those she classifies as “Fabulous.”

“[Local seniors] have been left isolated and with no where to go and be mentally and physically stimulated,” De Freitas said, speaking of the challenges. She works at Ridge Meadows Seniors Society in Maple Ridge, and in anticipating returning “real soon.”

RELATED – SHARE: Photo contest spotlights significant seniors

“Their friendships and associations have been cut, and places like our centre are not available to them,” De Freitas added. “It breaks my heart.”

READ MORE – FABULOUS: Maple Ridge granddaughter grateful for inspiring ‘Big Mama’

“Through it all, we have been able to adapt our lives to reach them in different ways,” she said, the pictures exemplifying just some of those ways they’ve tried to stay connected.

Richard and Dorothy Newman are both active involved members of the seniors society, with Richard sitting on the board of directors. De Freitas describes them as a beautiful couple and “amazing human beings. I truly am blessed to have met them.”

She also spotlighted Fran Preston as an active member of the centre, and again someone who sits on their board of directors.

“Fran is another senior in my life who can bring a smile to just about any room she enters. She has an air about her that is graceful and happy. Her laugh is contagious and she just has such a positive demeanour.”

Don Parker is what De Freitas describes as an “avid” volunteers within the seniors community.

“Don puts his heart and soul into his volunteer work and he is someone you can always count on. He volunteers his time to regularly work for our centre in multiple ways from shift work to fundraising to going into the community,” she said.

“We are ever so grateful for him and all his time and effort spent serving others.”

While De Freitas focused on a few of the seniors she knows from the society, she said she’d be remiss if she didn’t also spotlight her grandmother, Gail Moisey, too.

“I only met my grandmother when I was 14, but she welcomed me into her life and did what she could to make up for all the lost years. She is a beautiful soul and spent her years working as a dedicated elementary school principal. She is a very important part of my life and I love her to bits,” she said.

De Freitas is one of several people participating in the Fabulous Seniors photo contest during seniors week.

News readers are encouraged to share pictures and potentially win some loot while paying homage to a special senior in our life.

Send in a photo of a special local senior in your life, tell us why they’re significant to you, and you could win a $150 gift card through the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association.

READ MORE: Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge seniors honoured in novel ways for Seniors’ Week

Organized through the Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Katzie Seniors Network and the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News, this photo contest welcomes public submissions from people of all ages.

Participating is easy. You have until Monday, June 8 to enter and all entries go into a draw.

Simply send your Fabulous Senior photo to contests@mapleridgenews.com. It will be added to a virtual photo exhibit that will be displayed here on The News website and our social media channel.

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• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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