from Kathy’s Desk – September 2021

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Summer has been fantastic!  As the Past Chair of Coast Mental Health Society, I was motivated to participate in this year’s Courage 2 Go Further event benefitting Coast Mental Health Foundation’s campaign to raise funds and awareness for mental health in BC.  In turn, I ended up learning a lot more about fundraising which will certainly be put to good use at Kinsmen Lodge, a non-profit organization and registered charity.  The premise was simple – 100 km x 100 donors x $100.  My challenge was to ride 100 km and ask 100 donors to pledge $1/km ($100 each) in the hopes of raising $10,000.  On the Saturday of the BC Day long weekend, July 31st, I started out at about 5:30 AM with my husband, Robert, acting as coach, navigator, and co-rider and we were back home by noon.  It was a cool morning with light rain – perfect weather for a long ride.  We traversed from New Westminster to UBC, over the Arthur Laing Bridge to Steveston, through Richmond, South Vancouver, Burnaby, and then back to where we started.  A nice way to end the route, if you remember that New West is full of hills!  Many thanks to my team especially Bev Umlas, who set up my personal fundraising page for the event.  For those interested, more details, route stats, and photos can be found there.  I am also grateful for all of my supporters who helped me (over) achieve my fundraising goal.  My heart is full from the outpouring of generosity!

Some of the other challenges I took on this summer included hiking in the Rockies up to Skoki, near Lake Louise, AB, and more recently to the stunning Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park.  Spectacular scenery, but as I have had a few more birthdays under my (hydration) belt, the hikes get a little more difficult.  Back here on the home front, KL has held BBQs on the neighbourhoods, hosted an outdoor music festival, and honoured the Elders who we had to say goodbye to during the pandemic with a touching memorial and butterfly release.  Pastor Kevin told a lovely story about the metamorphosis of a butterfly and the symbolism behind these beautiful creatures. 

I’m not the only one doing exercise around here.  Our Elders have been taking advantage of the fact that group exercises are back!  Instead of being held in the Recreation Room, as they were in the past, the activity is taking place on each floor with two classes being offered per day.  At Kinsmen, we believe a steady exercise program not only helps to maintain mobility and reduce injuries due to falls, but also enables the Elders to stay engaged in their daily activities.

This Labour Day, I want to thank our hardworking staff for their compassionate care and commitment to our Elders.  Enjoy these last days of summer – it’s been a good one!