GWSA President’s Message – March 2019
From Dorothe Fair
It’s MARCH… is it SPRING yet??
If you feel you haven’t seen the sun in a very long time, you’re not wrong. Many of us think we experienced S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) this past January and February, meaning that without the sun there’s no fun!!
If you were craving the sunlight and when it occurred, you felt like singing, dancing and smiling, you understand what I’m talking about.You know where I’m going with these facts – it’s just another reason to Be Active Get Involved Make Friends at the GWSA. Come in for a ray of sunshine. The smiles from our front counter volunteers who greet you as you walk through the door will warm your heart and soul. Now let me share all the news and updates of what’s been happening at the GWSA.
Further in the Sentinel is another great article written by Ross Coulter on the visit from the Federal Minister of Seniors Affairs, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, who along with Guelph’s MP Lloyd Longfield, visited the GWSA on January 23. Lloyd recommended to the Minister that the GWSA is a vibrant association of more than 2,700 members and suggested she would enjoy stopping in to meet some of the seniors. We arranged a very eventful visit for her. She was entertained by the Silvertones Choir and joined them in singing I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing In Perfect Harmony. Then we took her to the Computer Lab where V.P. Ken Chupa outlined the GWSA Computer Mentoring program, and then to the Book Nook to hear Ken Fulger talk about the travels of the GWSA Canoe Group. Both the Computer Lab and the Canoe Group were fortunate to receive funding from the Federal New Horizon grants to purchase desktop computers and new canoes and she was very pleased to see the grants were put to great use in providing opportunities for seniors to be active and get involved. You can view the pictures taken by Bill Adam from the Into Focus Activity Group, on the GWSA website and with Ross Coulter’s article. Also check out Bill’s website: https://intofocus.smugmug.com/, for beautiful pictures taken by the members of the Into Focus Photography Group. Thanks Bill for being our resident photographer. Great action shots!
Speaking of the Minister’s visit, I’d like to recognize Wendi Hake, the GWSA Financial Administrator, for compiling the material and completing numerous forms that are required for any government grant application. Grant writing requires time commitment because there’s also the ongoing record keeping and the final financial report that has to be sent to the government agency. Wendi has done it all and she’s done a terrific job in securing many thousands of dollars for the GWSA seniors through grant applications. If grant writing interests you, please let me connect you to Wendi. She can mentor you so we can keep these funds coming in.
Fire Drills and Evacuation:
I’m following up on the numerous calls I received from GWSA members after the evacuation of the Evergreen Centre on Thursday, January 31. Let’s start with the fact that it was one of the coldest days of the winter and, according to many, there was a certain amount of confusion in terms of which doors to exit the building, whether the seniors could get their coats before going outside, and where they were to congregate outside while they waited for the fire truck to arrive. A repeated concern was why didn’t the seniors have to evacuate the building the second time the fire alarm went off. Some were adamant that a fire alarm should be treated seriously every time or people can become nonchalant. Of course there was further frustration when it was discovered that the fire alarm was triggered by a boiler problem in the condo tower beside our building and not in the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre. Our building is wired with the condo tower, and if their alarm goes off, so do the alarms in our building.
I’m sorry, but I can’t explain why the condo residents didn’t evacuate their building. Regardless, here is what you, as a GWSA member/volunteer, must be aware of…
FIRST: when a fire alarm goes off in any building, all individuals MUST EVACUATE the BUILDING in an ORDERLY MANNER.
SECOND: since the GWSA has a lease and rental agreement with the City to use the facilities at the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre and at the West End Community Centre, the City staff will take the leadership role in an emergency situation. This also applies if there is an accident like a fall or injury to a GWSA member in the buildings, outside or in the parking lot. The City staff person attends to the accident, decides whether to call EMS, and writes a report on the occurrence. In essence: the CITY STAFF are in charge if there is an EMERGENCY. PLEASE follow their direction.
FUTURE PLANS for EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
1. Ken Chupa V.P., and I plan to meet with Adam Rutherford, City Manager, and discuss having a fire drill(s) in the spring/summer to practise evacuating the Evergreen building.
2. We will review the City’s Evacuation Procedure and incorporate it into the GWSA Policies and Procedures manual.
3. We will remind GWSA members quarterly via the Sentinel about the Emergency Procedures.
4. We will remind all the Activity Leaders at the Program Committee meeting of the Emergency procedures and ask them to reinforce the procedures with their Activity Group members.
Thank you for your input and, most of all, your commitment to all the seniors who enjoy the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre and GWSA activities at the West End Community Centre. We all want health, happiness and a safe environment for everyone.
CSS Manager Maryanne Wilford and I invited members from the Heart and Stroke Association here for a tour of the Centre and lunch. There are many activities that those recovering from a stroke or heart condition could enjoy here. Everyone left with the list of 44 different activities we offer and we hope to see many of their members here soon.
I’ve used up all my space, so I will close with a THOUGHT FOR the DAY provided by Carol Croft in a past issue. I love this poem. It’s a goal we should all strive to remember in our busy, hectic lives. It’s how we treat people that counts the most.
A careless word may kindle strife.
A cruel word may wreck a life.
A timely word may ease your stress.
A loving word may heal and bless.
Take care dear friends and enjoy your GWSA every day… it’s here for YOU!!!
My card is at the front counter and I’m here on Mondays in the Boardroom.