Staff and volunteers at Kennedy Seniors’ Recreation Centre are hard at work preparing for a week-long open house aimed at introducing prospective members to the many programs and activities available at the North Delta facility.
Passport to Kennedy — running Monday, Sept. 10 to Saturday, Sept. 15 — is the centre’s annual week of free activities where members of North Delta’s 50-plus crowd can sample all the facility has to offer, free of charge.
“It’s an opportunity for the community to come in and see what we’re all about, just in case they don’t know,” said Kennedy Seniors Society director-at-large Nancy Brown.
“We’re encouraging people to come out and try something new.”
All week, the centre will host free drop-in activities and fitness classes “to get participants up and moving about, boost their brain power and kick start their fall fitness plans.”
“Circle the date, bring a friend and come on out to Kennedy,” Brown said.
Be it new programs such as strength and conditioning classes, Yin Yoga, and beginner tap, or returning favourites like Zumba, bingo, tai chi, carpet bowling and pickleball, the centre’s activities cover a wide range of interests.
As well, the centre is adding more evening and Saturday programming to appeal to members of the community in their 50s, many of whom are not yet retired.
“Most of our activities are popular, to whatever degree,” said Kennedy Seniors Society president Rick Stonehouse. “Most of them go by word mouth, like someone tells their friend or whatever. We don’t push any program in particular.”
All week, between 10 a.m. and noon, Kennedy Society board members will be on-hand offering guided tours of the facility, showing visitors the various activities going on that day and introducing them to instructors, volunteers and members.
As well, there will be daily prize draws for a gift certificate valid for one meal at Café Eighty-Ate, the centre’s revitalized cafeteria. On Thursday, the café will be offering free coffee and freshly-made baked goods from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“We’re really promoting our cafeteria too, and trying to give them as much exposure as possible,” Brown said.
On Wednesday, visitors can check out the weekly farm-to-table market where local farmers sell their fresh produce to members. Purchases are cash only, and can be made between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Visitors are asked to bring their own container or shopping bag.
As well as offering classes, fitness programs and leisure activities, the centre also offers seniors an opportunity to give back by volunteering, with numerous tasks that need doing in order to keep things running smoothly.
“Kennedy is run almost entirely by member-volunteers, so there are lots of opportunities to sign up and volunteer,” Brown said. “We definitely want to ramp up our volunteers as well, memberships and volunteers.”
“And people can customize their volunteer time too, right, to when they’re available,” Stonehouse added. “There are all kinds of little jobs around that we need done. Most of it’s just oversight, like the conveners. I’m the convener of the poker club, and I play poker too, and all I do is punch cards, that’s all my own job. Not a big deal, but we need someone to do that.”
The Kennedy has about 1,030 members at present, but the hope is to ramp up to around 1,200 in September thanks to new members and renewals. A year-long membership costs $20, plus a 35-cent fee per drop-in activity, payed via a 10-visit punch card costing $3.50. Ten-visit punch cards for fitness programs cost $40.
The Kennedy Seniors’ Recreation Centre is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For more information visit delta.ca/kennedy or call 604-594-2717.