With the sun shining, the balloons up and the ribbon hung, Menno Place gathered for the grand opening of the putting green and lawn bowling alley. As BC’s largest campus of care, with over 700 residents, Menno Place is continually finding new ways to promote healthy and energetic living for seniors. There was an air of childlike excitement, as everyone knew that in just a few minutes they would get to play.
The first two golfers to tee off on the new course were David Klassen (100) and Bernie Koop (93). After a lifetime of golfing these men are thrilled to be back on the links! After they sunk their first ball, more than 30 seniors and their families played a 9-hole round that afternoon. It was a lively celebration with ice cream and lemonade, sunshine and friends.
With over 100 people seated on the patio of Primrose Gardens Karen Baillie and Gerd Bartel, board chair, cut the ribbon – officially opening Menno Place’s newest addition to the 11-acre grounds! The new putting green and lawn bowling alley were made possible thanks to generous donations from the Menno Place community.
Karen L. Baillie, CEO, was thrilled to see the happy faces of seniors join in the grand opening celebration, “Menno Place is such a special place to live and work! We are grateful for the generous donations that made these new activities possible. Our goal is to support seniors with quality of life as they age in place. Research tells us that exercise is a key factor in reducing the risk of dementia. The putting green and lawn bowling alley are another way that seniors can get out, socialize and exercise! This makes it possible for all ages to have fun together – and that brings another vitality to seniors as families and friends of all ages enjoy spending time together!”
Chaplain Ingrid Schultz gave a blessing before the official opening of the putting green,“Bless those who generously gave to this project, those who worked hard to complete these greens, and those who will bowl and golf here. Keep us all safe, and open to learning the lessons these activities can teach. Patience, perseverance, and the ability to laugh at ourselves. Today and always, teach us to see all we’ve been given as gifts from you.”
Gerd Bartel, the Board Chair of Menno Place shared a few thoughts before joining residents in a round of golf.
“This is a beautiful addition to Menno Place, and we are looking forward to how much enjoyment is going to come to this campus as a result of this putting green. It is so good to be able to have space where we can play and laugh and enjoy each other.”
After playing nine-holes, one senior remarked, “Have you ever seen so many happy people?”
This atmosphere of joy does not end with the grand opening celebration! This putting green and lawn bowling alley afford the chance at Menno Place for all kinds of future activities – from grandchildren playing along to organized golf tournaments, the putting green will contribute to the vitality of this retirement home. As the baby boomers grow older, Menno Place continues to exceed the expectations of this next generation of seniors.