Golden Years Project keeps community spirit alive
The DiversityCanada Foundation wrapped up its Golden Years Project with a bonanza of goodies for seniors in March of 2022.
Cheers and broad smiles were abundant as the DiversityCanada Foundation wrapped up its Golden Years Project with a bonanza of goodies for seniors in March of 2022.
Residents of Elliot Lake (where DiversityCanada is located) and Blind River won gift cards, fruit baskets, gift baskets, care packages and other rewards donated by local businesses and organizations.
The Golden Years Project was sponsored in part by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.
It was designed to restore the sense of community that may have been lost during the challenging months of the COVID-19 pandemic. While public health restrictions kept families, friends, and neighbours apart, the Project brought seniors together online (and in-person, when it was safe to do so) to focus on subjects of concern to seniors.
DiversityCanada filmed interviews with experts on a wide array of topics such as elder financial abuse, back pain, foot care, fire safety, staying safe online, caring for a loved one with dementia, and preventing heat stroke. The interviews were then released on a weekly basis on the GoldenVoices.com website.
The interview topics were inspired by consultations with seniors which began in June of 2021. The recorded interviews in turn served as inspiration for the online and in-person discussions among seniors.
As the public health restrictions began to ease in early 2022, DiversityCanada presented residents at four Elliot Lake Retirement Living apartment buildings with pantry supplies to facilitate small coffee meetings where seniors could gather to view the recorded interviews and discuss the issues covered.
"Being isolated is not healthy for anybody,” said Donna Preston, a residents representative at the Washington Crescent apartment complex which received some of the refreshments. “So it's important to have activities like these where people can come together and see their friends and neighbours and feel part of a community."
The meetings and discussions led up to a quiz based on the recorded interviews. The quiz was made available online and in print form.
“Close to 70 percent of the entries were submitted online,” DiversityCanada Executive Director Celia Sankar said. “We were very pleased to see Elliot Lake seniors embrace technology in this way.”
(DiversityCanada is also running an initiative called the Golden Guides Project to assist seniors in using computers and the Internet.)
Prizes for the Golden Years Project quiz were donated by Canadian Tire, Shoppers Drug Mart, Tim Hortons, ELNOS, Elliot Lake Retirement Living, the Elliot Lake Fire Department, and DiversityCanada.
Bob MacGregor, a Washington Crescent resident, emerged winner with a perfect quiz score and earned himself the grand prize of a Canadian Tire gift card and a fruit basket.
Janet Kyer had the second-highest score and won the runner-up prize of a Canadian Tire gift card and a Tim Hortons gift basket.
Tied for third place were Dan Humeniuk, Cora Wilson, Marretta Warianko, Doug Robinson, Anthony Wright, Carol Chisholm, Frank and Paula Knights, Sharon Hatch, and Donna Gleave.
Prizes were also available to anyone attending the meetings. Over the course of the Golden Years Project, door prize winners included Dan Humeniuk, Ronald Shields, June Clarke (twice), Valerie Crooks, Marretta Warianko, Donna Preston, Bob Dunlop, Mark Ploeg, and Michelle Russinow.
DiversityCanada Executive Director Celia Sankar presents quiz winner Bob MacGregor with a gift card courtesy of Canadian Tire and fruit basket, courtesy of DiversityCanada.
Quiz runner-up Janet Kyer with her prizes of a gift card and coffee gift basket, courtesy of Canadian Tire and Tim Hortons.
DiversityCanada board member Geraldine Robinson presents quiz winners Frank and Paula Knights with their prize of a women’s beauty basket, courtesy of Shoppers Drug Mart.
DiversityCanada Business Development Officer Christopher Elliott presents quiz winner Cora Wilson her prize of a fruit Basket, courtesy of DiversityCanada.
DiversityCanada Business Development Officer Christopher Elliott presents quiz winner Marretta Warianko her prize of a fruit basket, courtesy of DiversityCanada.
Quiz winner Carol Chisholm with her prize of a men’s beauty basket, courtesy of Shoppers Drug Mart.
Quiz winner Doug Robinson with his prize of a Tim Hortons gift card, courtesy of Elliot Lake Retirement Living.
Quiz winner Dan Humeniuk with his prize of a gift card, courtesy of Canadian Tire.
Quiz winner Anthony Wright with his prize of a Tim Hortons gift card, courtesy of Elliot Lake Retirement Living.
Quiz winner Donna Gleave with her prize of a gift card, courtesy of Canadian Tire.
DiversityCanada Business Development Officer Christopher Elliott presents Bob Dunlop his door prize of a cooler bag, courtesy of the Elliot Lake Fire Department.
DiversityCanada board member Geraldine Robinson (left) presents Michelle Russinow her door prize of a women’s care package, courtesy of ELNOS.
Mark Ploeg of Blind River with his door prize of a men’s care package, courtesy of ELNOS.
DiversityCanada Executive Director Celia Sankar presents a thank-you gift to long-time DiversityCanada volunteer Jim Graham who moderated some of the online meetings.
Activity Room Committee reps at the Washington and Warsaw Elliot Lake Retirement Living apartments, Jim and Donna Preston (left), and Bob Dunlop (centre) with DiversityCanada Foundation Business Development Officer Chris Elliott (right). DiversityCanada presented residents at four apartment buildings with supplies to facilitate coffee meetings at which seniors would gather to discuss matters of concern to seniors as part of the Golden Years Project.