"The dedication and willingness of our staff and board of directors, and the ability to enjoy themselves while getting things done, helped Community Care have another successful year," commented Ralph Hall, outgoing chair, at the Annual General Meeting on June 24th. "It has been a joy to work with the staff and board and we've accomplished a lot in the 2 years I've been chair," Hall said in his speech. Genny Vincent was elected to the position of chair and said, "Prince Edward Community Care is a good organization that helps a lot of people in The County. The volunteers are extremely important. I'm pleased to have been elected as chair of the board and to be able to work with our executive director, Debbie Moynes, the staff and the board of directors to continue to help seniors stay living at home.
Chair of Community Care's board of directors
In the report from the treasurer, John A. Jackson gave much of the credit for the excellent condition of our finances to the executive director and staff but also to "the volunteers who are actively committed to the service and help of others." Fundraising initiatives such as the tag day, memberships, donations and the thrift shop continue to be successful in raising the funds required to supplement the partial funding received from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
"There just isn't the interest in our bus trips anymore" lamented Jackson when he reported the decision to cancel several of the trips scheduled for the coming months. "Since 1992 each year we have developed a roster of day trips to a variety of destinations but last year and again this year, seniors and others just aren't booking the seats." Jackson explained that theatre and attraction tickets for most trips must be purchased and paid for months in advance. The agency takes a huge loss if a trip is cancelled once the tickets have been acquired.
Community Care bus trips were established in response to a request from the seniors clubs in The County. The seniors asked for day trips to be arranged so that they no longer needed to do so. With the goal of providing interesting opportunities to see large shows and other entertainment, Community Care successfully operated the program for many years. When other local organizations began arranging trips last year it became impossible for Community Care to fill a bus.
The bus trips were an important fundraiser for Community Care and the money raised helped support programs for seniors. Jackson says that "this is not a decision we are entering into lightly, we want to do the right thing but we just can't lose money on these bus trips." The decision has been made to run the August 19th trip to the "Seniors' Jubilee" as there are only 6 seats left on the bus. All of the other scheduled trips have been cancelled, except for the overnight trips to Magog Quebec in November and in March 2005. Debbie Moynes, executive director, says "we ran a successful trip to Magog last March so we're going to give it another go. People need to book early, however, or we'll be forced to cancel these trips as well." The fall mystery trip may be kept on the schedule as well if there is enough interest shown.
The Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association provides community support services to eligible seniors and adults with physical disabilities who reside in Prince Edward. Services include transportation, Meals on Wheels, seniors' dinners, foot care clinics, assistance with forms, and reassurance checks. For information on these and other programs call Community Care at 476-7493, stop in at the office located at The Armoury, 206 Main Street, Picton, or check the website at www.communitycareforseniors.org