May 3, 2016 changed everything for Fort McMurray when a wildfire forced 80,000 residents from their homes. A total of 2,400 people who lost their homes to the fire, 19 were our members. On June 1 residents started to return to their homes - some to continue where they left off, some to start over and some never to return.
In the meantime the center was getting cleaned so we could open. On June 22, the Golden Years Society opened its doors. On June 24 we held our first program called the "Drop In Program" so members and other seniors could reconnect. We continue to have this program every Friday from 9-12. Coffee and muffins are provided. All seniors in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo are invited to attend. The First Responders' were invited to come and have coffee and on July 15 the Fort McMurray Firefighters joined us. Some shared their stories about the fire and losing their homes with our members. We also had the Red Cross come in to assist seniors with receiving their funds or other assistance that they may need.
Where Age Has No Limits
The response from people from all over Canada and other countries was phenomenal.
Thank you to the following Seniors centers who donated money to the center. Grand Prairie & District Golden Age Center, Kanata Seniors Center, USCO, Center Dufferin New Horizons and the Newton Senior Club. Also thank you to the Hinton Farmers Market for their donation as well and the Clairmont Senior Club.