The Langley Seniors' Resource Centre has some 1,150 members.
Phil Ryan holds membership #4. He and about 19 other seniors who joined when the centre first opened were honoured guests at the 20th anniversary celebration on Friday.
"Within the first year, over 800 seniors became members," said Barb Stack, the centre's executive director who has worked there since it opened.
The seniors centre on 51B Avenue was packed throughout the day Oct. 4 as people enjoyed reminscing about the centre, which was created when the Stepping Stone Society and the seniors' centre society split and both sought their own space.
For Ryan, membership has come full circle. He became a member when he volunteered with the adult day centre which offers help to caregivers.
Now he's a client and can't say enough good things about the centre and its programs.
"I take advantage of an awful lot of their programs," he said. "It makes it a better quality of life. I've encouraged an awful lot of people to get involved in the centre. Just about everyone can find something to do here."
On the other end of the spectrum is Oliver Juhasz. He's been a member for only a few years, joining the Mellow Yellow table tennis squad, but has come to value what he gets out of membership.
"Just nice people," he said, "and good exercise."
Also a member - Langley MP Mark Warawa whose first introduction to the centre was being put into a dunk tank at a fundraiser. The 63-year-old joined this year.
He and other local dignitaries spoke at a special ceremony where the centre's new logo was also unveiled.
Cathy Gibbs, representing Langley MLA Mary Polak, said she was there when the centre opened 20 years ago.
Also a senior, she joked that she's afraid to retire.
"I'm far too lazy to do as much as most of you do each day," she told the crowd of seniors.
Stack said the centre serves about 3,000 seniors and their famlies each year. Members and users are from both the Township and the City.
The centre was devasted by arson in early 2008 when the building was forced to close.
Programs such as the adult bathing program were moved to other facilties. It took months to rebuild.
Operated by a non-profit society, the centre has some staff and a large contingent of volunteers. It offers recreation programs, trips and bus tours, a transportation program with volunteer drivers, special events, housing counselling, caregiver support, and much more. The centre operates a cafeteria which is open to the public and a catering service which helps raise funds to keep the facility and programs going.
The centre's annual fundraising rummage sale is Nov. 2 and donations of clean, working, sellable items. Call the centre at 604-530-3020 to find out about what items can and
cannot be donated.
Learn about the centre and its many programs and services at www.lsrs.ca.
@ Copyright 2013