Heather Treleaven (left) is with the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Seniors Network. A few novel Seniors’ Week events are being hosted around the community by the network and others. (The News files)

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

Traditional gatherings are out, but local seniors groups wanted to mark the occasion

Ridge Meadows Seniors Society isn’t letting Seniors Week go unrecognized.

The society is hosting physically distanced fun at the centres in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge to mark Seniors Week June 1 to 6.

The society for those 55 and older will have a social gathering from 2 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3 at the Maple Ridge centre. People are asked to park on the north side of the building and make their way to the west side for activities.

The Pitt Meadows gathering is 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 4. People should park on the gravel lot and the gathering will be on the paved section, which allows for social distancing.

The space is limited so anyone wanting to take part should sign up by June 1, emphasized society executive director Maria Perretta.

Those attending must take a few extra steps for the safety of all, including wearing masks and bringing a chair and sunscreen, and any water/drinks or snacks.

The events will feature socially distanced visiting, dancing and more. Organizers are encouraging people to wear their best physically distanced costumes.

“We’re kind of looking at this as the initial kick-off event and should it be possible to do more in the future, we definitely will look at that,” she noted.

As part of the COVID-19 restrictions, the buildings and their washrooms will be closed.

People can RSVP at the centre of their choice. The Maple Ridge Seniors Activity Centre, 12150 224th St., can be reached at 604-467-4993 while the Pitt Meadows Seniors Activity Centre, 19065 119B Ave., is at 604-457-4771.

“If we have enough demand, then we will offer another event they will be invited back for,” she noted.

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Networking

In the meantime, the Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Katzie Seniors Network is taking the Seniors Week celebrations to where the seniors are around the community.

Rain or shine, the network is partnering in a seniors centre organized roving celebration that starts downtown at 1 p.m. on Friday, June 5 and hits several spots around Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

“We’re going to move throughout the communities and stop in areas where we know there are high numbers of seniors,” explained Heather Treleaven, with the seniors network.

The group is limited to at most 50 people but those who see the roving group are welcome to join in as long as social distancing is honoured.

Expect to see lots of colour and hear lots of enthusiasm with entertainers included in the festivities. Seniors facilities around the community have been given a heads up about the event.

“It’s raising people’s spirits and reminding people we’re out there,” Treleaven said.

The network is an umbrella group of about 30 seniors and other organizations.

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Good guess

The network has also partnered with the Maple Ridge Community Foundation to host a special seniors trivia event. Trivia Night Golden Edition starting at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 5.

This online contest features questions focused on seniors.

Treleaven said the trivia night will be “doing some mythbusting about aging” and recognizing some notable local seniors.

People wanting to take part can purchase $10 tickets online through the community foundation website. The foundation uses weekly [Fridays at 7:30 p.m.] trivia nights as a fundraiser for its community work.

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Snap

Fabulous Senior is a virtual photo exhibit with entries displayed on the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News website and social media.

Organized through the Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Katzie Seniors Network, and in conjunction with The News, the contest welcomes public submissions from people of all ages that fit in with the theme.

“We’re encouraging the public to submit photos of significant seniors in their life,” said Treleaven.

The entries go into a draw for a $150 gift card through the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association. Submissions can be made at contests@mapleridgenews.com before midnight on Monday, June 8.

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Tea time

The Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association has a treat for seniors on Friday, June 5.

“It’s going to be called Tea and Treats for Seniors,” said Ineke Boekhorst, the association’s executive director.

Seniors can walk up or drive up to Once Upon A Tea to receive a package of sweet treats and a tea courtesy of the BIA.

“Everything is packaged so it’s all safe,” she added.

Typically the association hosts Seniors Week events, including downtown walking tours to showcase the history and public art of the community. That’s now possible because of the pandemic.

“We still want to make sure that the seniors know the businesses in downtown Maple Ridge appreciate them,” she said.

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In the past

It’s a new era, but local seniors groups didn’t want to miss the chance to honour older residents of the community.

Organizations such as the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society (RMSS) and Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Katzie Seniors Network would typically have many activities during Seniors’ Week as well as the rest of the year.

The seniors centres would typically be abuzz with Seniors Week events, including a locally written stage production with songs and dances, Fit for Life, a sports day for seniors, and for more than 20 years, a strawberry tea in conjunction with the Ridge Meadows Hospice Society.

Things have changed in the age of COVID-19 and the emphasis is on honouring seniors by making sure it can be done in a safe way.

“Usually we have a whole week full of activities, something on every single day,” Treleaven said. “We’re doing our best to make sure the week doesn’t go by unmarked.”

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