St. Eustache’s Young at Heart/Jeunes de Coeur group is still going strong after 40 years.
The group, which started out with 20 people and a $2,000 grant from the New Horizons program in 1973, now has approximately 60 members and is celebrating four decades of operation on Sept. 20 with a dinner, entertainment and fireworks beginning at 6 p.m. in the St. Eustache Community Hall.
Secretary-treasurer Alice Griffiths recently recounted some of the group’s history. The members met in the local convent’s basement until 2012, when they moved into the community hall.
Throughout the years, they arranged day trips to Winnipeg and other Manitoba locations, as well as longer trips to destinations as far away as Quebec.
They also celebrated annual holidays, and many of their parties featured local entertainers. They offered recreational opportunities with bingo, cards and cribbage games.
In 2005, the members lowered the entry age to 55 years.
Griffiths said many of the current members are what she calls ‘younger seniors’, and they help to keep the club active.
"The club is still strong and involved in the community," she said.
Two of the members have their food handler certificate and are able to provide the food for the club’s popular weekly meal program.
"We usually get at least 40 to 50 people per week," Griffiths said.
Asked why she joined the Young at Heart club, Griffiths said she was attracted by an art program that ran in 2010, but also enjoys getting together with her neighbours throughout the year.
"It gets me out of the house," she added.
All are welcome to attend the 40th anniversary celebration, but must pre-register by Sept. 13 by calling Lorna at 204-353-4538 or Doris at 204-353-4532. The cost for adults is $15 and $7 for children.