What’s up at Abbotsford

By Pat Goyeche

Abbotsford Seniors Centre continues to offer in-person and Zoom programming and clubs for seniors 55-plus this spring. The weather is encouraging – the melting of ice and snow with the spring thaw brings hope for renewal. Spring also brings change and we are all certainly ready for that, with the lifting of some of the measures that have kept us physically apart.

At the time of writing, Abbotsford continues to monitor and screen all our patrons. We are committed to ensuring that you can enjoy programming and club activities in a safe, relaxed and fun environment. Keep up with the latest on our public health measures by visiting our website: glebecentre.ca under ‘What’s Up at Abbotsford’.

The house is buzzing with busy-bee volunteers who are sorting, pricing and storing flea market items, books, art, jewellery and women’s clothing for the Great Glebe Garage Sale, to be held on Saturday, May 28. We owe a great deal to our enthusiastic volunteers who help us raise much-needed dollars for our operations. We are not fully funded and rely on donations from the community to help operate our not-for-profit centre. Thank you all for your contributions, which we gladly receive Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Abbotsford House is 150 years old this year! We are celebrating by sharing our history as part of Doors Open Ottawa on Sunday June 5. We will be bringing out archival photographs and sharing stories of days gone by when the house was a mansion that Alexander Mutchmor built in “cottage country” in 1872! If you have any history or photographs of the house to share, please get in touch with us as we would love to share those memories.

To help celebrate our 150th anniversary, we will be hosting a Gala on Friday, October 14 in the Horticultural Building. Save the date, as we promise an event to remember to celebrate our history and our future as a community centre for seniors.

Fitness, dance, yoga, Spanish, French and art classes as well lectures and clubs such as bridge, ping-pong and mah-jong are all in full swing this spring. We have more in-person programming now. It is great to hear the laughter and the groans from the multipurpose room as instructors encourage “one more set of 5 squats”!

We also have a full slate of virtual programming on the Zoom platform. Many members find it an easy way to keep fit and keep in touch without having to leave their homes. We will continue to offer virtual programming into the future, having clearly heard that request in our recent survey of members.

We are pleased to announce that for the first time, the option of online registration will be available starting this summer. We have been able to purchase a registration system thanks to the financial support of members and friends of Abbotsford House. This will streamline registration, boost attendance and help us reach out to more seniors in greater Ottawa. Staff are excited to use this tool to better serve our members and volunteers.

Zoom programming, MailChimp e-mail missives and telephone calls have kept us in close contact with members when it was not possible to meet in person. Keeping in contact has been so important for us all in these challenging times. Many thanks to our members and volunteers who have supported one another over the past two years.

Hope springs eternal. We are pleased to offer more, see more of you and serve you better with our programming and our new registration system. Abbotsford is 150 years young and growing. Grow with us and join in our programming, fundraising and volunteering. We are always enthused to welcome new members and volunteers.

Pat Goyeche is coordinator of community programs at Abbotsford.

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