Spruce Grove Golden Age Club ready to welcome new members

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Spruce Grove Golden Age Club members prove that age is just a number.

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Tucked away behind City Hall on Jespersen Avenue is the modest Pioneer Center and home of the Spruce Grove Golden Age Club. Inside, members currently ages 55-96 can participate in a variety of activities, including billiards (Monday-Friday), line dancing (Mondays for beginners, Wednesdays and Fridays for intermediate dancers), cribbage and quilting. The club also organizes special events throughout the year such as dances (the first of 2022 is scheduled for May 2), Thursday dinners which will resume in the coming weeks and, recently, a pool tournament 8 balls.

“I expect that once the air clears and the word ‘COVID’ leaves our vocabularies, I have an idea that we’re going to get an influx of people again,” Mike said. Jensen, director of the Spruce Grove Golden Age Club.

Throughout the pandemic, the club has seen a decline in membership due to provincial closures. Jensen explained that most decision-making, in terms of what the Spruce Grove Golden Age Club offers members, is based on member feedback. As a result, the club is working on ways to attract more members and keep their attention by offering new activities such as mahjong sessions or yoga classes. The club said it was also able to make much-needed upgrades to the Pioneer Center during the multiple closures.

“It was a bit of a blessing in a way because look at all the work we’ve done,” Jensen said. “We had the roof redone, redone all the heating systems, air conditioning, replaced all the pool tables and redone the floor. He was long overdue for much of the work.

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Yet, in terms of day-to-day operations, the Spruce Grove Golden Age Club and its members have made things work. For example, line dancing classes were held outdoors to adhere to provincial health guidelines. They set up an iPad and speakers in the kitchen and played the music through the nearby backdoor

“When it was COVID, we were dancing outside in the parking lot because they weren’t allowed to have indoor fitness classes,” member Linda Schellevis recalled. “We were in the parking lot in the summer. Some of the ladies didn’t like the parking lot because of the surface, so one of the ladies came early to sweep the surface.

Schellevis, who has been a substitute teacher for line dance classes since November and has been dancing since 2008. Prior to that, she taught fitness classes at the Tri-Leisure Center in Spruce Grove.

“I’ve always loved fitness,” she says. “It’s a workout and it’s really good for your brain, especially for older people. You have to remember the step combinations, so once you get the sequence and repeat it over and over, it’s really good for your brain.

Dancers will also sometimes dress up in costume for events with themes such as country and western, Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day.

When asked why she loved coming to the Spruce Grove Golden Age Club, Schellevis didn’t hesitate.

“I’ve made a lot of friends here and for the value you get at this place for a $20 membership and all the things you can do, it’s definitely worth coming,” Schellevis said. “I don’t know where you could go to do stuff like this at such good value. I think the senior center is great and I really like coming here. It’s a good place.

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