Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns chats with Terri, Pamela and Karen during the July Seniors Luncheon at Forest Glen. (Nora O’Malley / Westerly News)

$25,000 awarded for seniors programs on the West Coast

Member of Parliament for Courtenay-Alberni Gord Johns delighted more than 40 West Coast seniors by joining the Seniors Social Luncheon at Forest Glen on July 17.

Johns praised Cathy Whitcomb and the team at Forest Glen Sea View Seniors Housing Society for the efforts they have made to help seniors programming thrive.

At the beginning of July, the Sea View Seniors Housing Society received a $25,000 grant funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

“Without good staff like Cathy, without board of directors and people that are serving the community like Jan and the team that you’ve got, we wouldn’t even be here without you. This is a project that came to fruition by hard work and it continues to be hard work that keeps it going,” said Johns during the luncheon.

RELATED: Johns acclaimed as Courtenay-Alberni NDP candidate for 2019 federal election

Whitcomb, the administrative co-ordinator at Forest Glen, said the grant will help create more activities for West Coast seniors, including: gardening, cooking for senior’s nutrition, cribbage, book club, yoga and more.

During the seniors lunch, Johns sat at each table and spoke with many of the seniors as they enjoyed a soup lunch made by Julie Bird.

“It warms my heart to hear the stories,” he said.

“This is what it’s about. Coming together sharing stories. It really lights up us too as leaders in the community have that connection. It really guides us too as leaders,” said Johns.

Guest speaker Emily Beeson, a marine biologist at the Ucluelet Aquarium, entertained the seniors during dessert with a short presentation on local marine life.

At the end of her talk, Beeson surprised the seniors with a generous gift – everyone received a free day pass to aquarium.

The next Seniors Social Luncheon is Aug. 21. A guest speaker from the Wild Pacific Trail is scheduled.

“Our luncheons are held on the third Wednesday of each month,” notes Whitcomb.

“Please contact us if you would like to be on our ‘friends and family’ mailing list for luncheons and other announcements, if you would like to volunteer for any of our programs, or if you are interested in applying for housing at Forest Glen.”

Anyone interested in connecting with Whitcomb is encouraged to contact 250-726-2789 or email:

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