Centre 1,000 seniors strong

A newly minted member at the Penticton Seniors' Drop-In Centre was surprised to be presented with a bouquet of flowers and a certificate along with her registration — she was the officially 1,000th member.

"It was a lot of fun to do that," said centre vice president Karl Crosby.

They decided to commemorate the event because membership growth has been a major goal leading up to the centre's 25th anniversary this summer. 

"Our goal this year was to reach 1,000 members and we were thinking we'd probably get there around May or June," Crosby said. "Surprisingly here we are in March and we're already there!"

The centre is a 14,000 square foot facility located on land leased from the City of Penticton, but unlike the majority of other seniors' community centres in the province, it is privately owned and operated by volunteers. 

"It's been completely self-supporting since it opened, there's been not a nickel of public funds going into the operation of this centre which makes it unique in the province," Crosby said. "We're just in the process now of hiring our first paid manager. It's completely run by volunteers, the whole centre."

Membership costs $20 for the whole year, since affordability and access for all seniors is a key goal for the centre. That comes with a huge range of activities and social events throughout each week. 

"Everything from belly dancing to bingo!" Crosby said with a laugh.

The centre plans to hold an official celebration of 25 years in operation in June, with the public's involvement in an as-yet undecided manner. 

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