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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

Seniors’ Week BBQ Brings CommunityTogether Despite Weather Challenges

Updated: Jun 12

From left, Madison Chase (Cornerstone Co-op), Simran Vahora (Cornerstone Co-op), Carol Coleman (Vermilion FCSS), Amy Taylor (Cornerstone Co-op) Laurie Hopaluk  (Town of Vermilion Community Services), Kevin Martin (Deputy Mayor), Kirby Whitlock (Town Council Member), Shirley McRobert (Senior Coordinator, Vermilion FCSS), Dianne Dunn (Staff, Senior Centre), Barry Robinson (President of Senior Centre fixing his burger).

The Vermilion Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) hosted a heartwarming BBQ lunch and activity day at the Vermilion Heritage Park and Senior Centre on June 4 to celebrate the town’s seniors. Although inclement weather forced the event indoors, it did not dampen the spirits of the 156 attendees who enjoyed a lively afternoon of food, fun, and social connection.

Seniors enjoying a bbq hamburger meal

Initially planned for the picturesque Heritage Park, the festivities were relocated to the Seniors Centre, where participants enjoyed a spirited game of Bingo. VIBE volunteers added to the excitement by setting up a prize wheel, offering fidget chains, stress balls, information pamphlets, and decks of playing cards with inspirational messages on each card.

From left, Pat Calyniuk, Program Manager with VIBE Mental Health Program and Lorelee Marin, Health Promotion Facilitator, Mental Health Promotion & Addiction Prevention, Alberta Health Services. Photos Lorna Hamilton

Cornerstone Co-op generously supplied BBQ equipment and volunteers, who braved the rain to ensure the burgers were perfectly cooked. The meal also featured potato salad, coleslaw, beans, tea, coffee, water, and a delightful ice cream dessert.

Town of Vermilion Council members, including Councillor Kirby Whitlock and Deputy Mayor Kevin Martin, lent a hand in serving food, engaging with the seniors, and fostering a sense of community. Deputy Mayor Martin expressed his gratitude, saying, “I’d like to thank everyone for coming out on this dreary day. Hopefully, the food was good and everyone enjoyed it. I just want to say thanks to all of you (our seniors) for being pillars of our community for years and years, and hopefully, the green and the dandelion stay low and life will be good.”

For over 20 years, Vermilion has celebrated Seniors’ Week, recognizing the invaluable contributions of its older residents. The event highlights the community’s appreciation and respect for the experiences, wisdom, and achievements of its senior citizens.

The success of this year’s event is a testament to the dedication of the FCSS and the collaborative spirit of VIBE. These initiatives play a crucial role in promoting the well-being and inclusivity of seniors, ensuring they remain integral members of the community.

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