It was with great pride that I attended the Manitoba Council on Aging 2013 Recognition Awards, presented by the Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat in the Manitoba legislature last month.
These awards recognize the outstanding contributions each award winner has made within their communities. I celebrated with one of our own from Riel this year — Mr. Stan Puchniak received an Honourable Mention for his tremendous work within the Riel community and well beyond.
Mr. Puchniak has devoted significant time and energy to many local community projects over the years. To list only a few of his accomplishments, he has been a long-standing member of the Lions Club of Riverside for more than 30 years. He has been a mainstay of the Club throughout his membership, in particular providing his skills as a chartered accountant for the Club’s many projects.
These have included the Riverside Lions Estates, a 130-unit apartment building for seniors and adults living with disabilities, as well as more recently the Lions Seniors Residences, a 75-unit facility for assisted and supported living. It is important to note that both of these are affordable housing facilities, with congregate meal programs available to all residents. Stan Puchniak provides a living example of the Lions Club motto "We Serve," demonstrating how one person can make such a great difference by bringing their skills to the table in an open, caring way.
Age-friendly living is a priority for Manitoba because it’s a priority for families. Together, we’re moving towards a province which recognizes the diversity among older Manitobans who have different needs. Manitoba is considered a leader in creating age-friendly environments, with 80% of our population living in communities that have signed on to the Age Friendly Manitoba Initiative.
Age-Friendly Manitoba’s partners provide a range of services to older adults in Manitoba including advocacy, education, elder abuse counselling and referral. We believe that these partnerships are essential to creating age-friendly communities that will ensure the participation, health, independence and security of older persons and contribute to healthy aging in our province. For more information on services available to older Manitobans go to Manitoba.ca or by calling 204-945-2127.
One again, congratulations and thank you to Stan. His example shows us what becomes possible when people move from saying "Me" to saying "We."
Furthermore, if constituents have any questions or comments about events in our community, please contact my office at 204-253-5162 or Christine.Melnick@YourManitoba.ca.