Published October 28, 2020
By Jan Dean
ADAM Veri says the Port Dover Senior Centre was so close to officially opening in the spring.
The plan was to launch a membership drive and hold the first AGM this past April.
Covid delayed that. On Nov. 1st groups are allowed to use halls in Norfolk County again.
Covid protocols limit the number of people allowed in the building at any one time to 18 – each person must have 64 sq. ft. For now, programs are limited to 15-16 masked participants.
“Even sign-ups have to be different because you can’t have people sharing pens and paper,” says Mr Veri who submitted an opening plan to Norfolk County Community Services Dept. outlining policies for masks and sanitizing.
He hopes to start booking programs at the Scout Hut as soon as possible after Nov. 1.
When the Centre does open there won’t be community cookies and coffee or choirs or sharing equipment and materials. Those are all activities that are high risk for spreading Covid.
High contact areas of the hall will be thoroughly sanitized between each program use.
Initially, plans include yoga and art classes and a trivia league because card games are still a no-go. All programs will be scheduled during the day to start.
Mr Veri has also been developing a website for PDSC. For the past year, newsletters have kept people informed about the Centre. Anyone who wants to be on the mailing list should email averi@barberveri.
“Membership will be $50 per year,” he says. “But that starts April 1, 2021. Until then we’re not going to charge membership fees or fees for programs – although voluntary donations are always welcome.”
The only exception will be if a specific program requires supplies. Program participants would have to pay for those.
Mr Veri has been working on the project for the past two years. He has been advising a Transition Team for the Centre and then following directions from them.
The Transition Team includes Steve Brightman, Sue Finnie, Jacqueline Misner-Hilton, Shana Greatrix and Ev Deming. Randy Miller and Cate Evans were previously members. The five members serve as an Interim Board for the Centre.
They filed for not-for-profit status with the Ontario government in July.
A $59,000 Trillium Foundation start-up grant was received almost a year ago by Port Dover Board of Trade which “is overseeing the project and providing governance,” explains Mr Veri. “I’ve been working with Board members Paul Morris, Gary Hepburn and Glenn Tweedie.” As the grant recipient, the Board of Trade approves financial decisions for the Port Dover Senior Centre.
Norfolk County is providing the Scout Hut rent-free to the Seniors Centre who pay for the building’s upkeep.
A summer project was the community garden next to the Scout Hut. “Our plan was to grow canning plants and hold canning workshops for seniors,” says Mr Veri. That didn’t work out because of continuing Covid restrictions but the harvest was donated to the Food Bank.
“It’s great now because we’re doing something to prepare for opening,” says Mr Veri. “We’ll grow as much as we can – but we know we’re going to be fine.”