Mont St. Joseph Grandparents Day event connects generations

Participants head out for the Grandparents Day Stroll-A-Thon on September 9, 2018. (Jason Kerr/Daily Herald)

The Mont St. Joseph Home in Prince Albert’s Stroll-A-Thon for Grandparents Day is not just for seniors. The 20th annual event coming up in about a week is for all generations to honour the city’s grandparents.

Next Sunday, September 8, the public is invited to the home on 28th Street East for live entertainment, a free barbecue and kids activities such as bouncy castles and face painting.

Jessica Gale, Mont St. Joseph Foundation resource development coordinator, said the home itself has three daycare rooms.

“Nothing makes (the residents) happier than seeing those little kids smiling and having a great time,” said Gale. “It’s a fantastic experience for the both the kids and our seniors to interact together.”

Family members, whom Gale said are very active in the home, take the residents on a walk around the building for the Stroll-A-Thon from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

“Unfortunately there are some that can’t make it that day, so we would love to have the general public come and adopt one of our grandparents so that everyone has family for the day,” she said.

The proceeds go towards upgrading furnishings, or as Gale describes it, “anything that makes the home feel (like) home.”

“Whether it’s a new sofa set, comfortable chairs for the residents and the visitors…It could be a new entertainment centre in one of the neighbourhoods. It could be a television set, anything that makes the home feel home-like and make our visitors and our residents more comfortable when they’re here.”

Mont St. Joseph volunteers have been collecting pledges throughout the summer outside of the Lake Country Co-op Food Store. Gale said they’ll be there on Sept. 5.

“The message that we want to get across on Grandparents Day is just to recognize the fact that our grandparents are here and they’re a main supporter and the main backbone of our community,” she said.

Gale is new to the Mont St. Joseph Foundation. She started there this past June, working alongside the board to plan and run community events, connect with sponsors and grow their sponsorship list.

She said members have been meeting since the start of the summer to make Grandparents Day a special bonding experience for families.

Grandparents Day is celebrated nationally.