In 2002 BC’s provincial government declared the first week of June as BC Seniors week. The dedicated week is an opportunity for communities to acknowledge the contributions and importance of their elders by providing opportunities to celebrate, honour, and engage them. Since then, around the province, seniors enjoy the spotlight each year, starting on the first Sunday in June.
Covid-19 put a damper on festivities in 2020, but a year later—as vaccination rates increase and provincial health orders ease— BC Seniors Week ramped up again. Bria Communities was thrilled to participate in two am celebrations that felt even more poignant on the heels of a very challenging 15 months.
Langley Seniors Enjoy BBQ Bonanza
In Langley, we partnered with the Langley Senior Resources Society to create a drive-thru BBQ Bonanza event. Ribs, baked beans, cornbread and all the fixings were served carhop style to seniors who had booked their tickets ahead of time. A DJ spun country tunes that got everyone’s toes tapping, and many seniors parked their cars to sit and have a socially distanced visit with the friends they haven’t seen in well over a year.
“It was a sign of good things to come,” says Pam Murphy, General Manager for Magnolia Gardens. Pam did car hop duty serving boxed-up BBQ meals along with Bria recyclable shopping bags stuffed with treats. “It was a real party atmosphere, Langley Seniors are tired of staying home, and LSRS always provides terrific opportunities to connect and have fun.”
South Delta Seniors Receive Care Packages
In South Delta, 21 lucky seniors received deluxe pandemic pick-me-up care packages as part of a BC Seniors week initiative. Community members nominated seniors who they thought needed a pandemic pick-me-up.
Gerry Sharpe, mother of five and grandmother of nine, was nominated by her husband. His heartfelt message about the challenges she’s faced in the pandemic made her a shoo-in to receive one of the deluxe gift baskets.
In a thank you message, after her basket had been dropped off she wrote, “I sincerely thank you and everyone involved in creating such a wonderful and thoughtful gift basket! I was overwhelmed and quite emotional when you were at my door. The selection of gifts could not have been more tailored to my current needs.”
Andie Bakehouse, who coordinated the project on behalf of The Waterford and The Wexford seniors communities, was amazed by the community’s engagement. “There was a huge outpouring of love for the seniors in our community. We saw 114 nominations come in.”
Also inspiring was the involvement of local businesses to help make the baskets deluxe. Twenty-five local businesses and companies contributed to the gift baskets as well as ‘swag bags’ given to each senior nominated. “The reality is that for many small businesses, it’s been a difficult year, and to see them generously support our seniors was amazing,” notes Andie.
Despite the challenges Covid-19 presents, BC Seniors Week was an outstanding success.