Seniors Transportation a blessing for annual fundraiser’s ‘Mary’

Patricia Keller is this year's 'Mary' for Seniors Transportation's Two Miles for Mary Fundraiser on Sept. 27, 2019 at the Heritage Centre. (Submitted Photo)

“I don’t know what I would do without it, really. It gives me freedom; it gives me independence.”

– Patricia Keller

Seniors Transportation’s Two Miles for Mary fundraiser is coming up this Friday with another senior to represent the service.

The Community Service Centre, who provides Seniors Transportation, chooses a different customer for each annual fundraiser to be their ‘Mary.’ This year, it’s 79-year-old Patricia Keller.

“It’s a privilege, to start with, (an) honour because it’s a great service and it gives us seniors great independence,” she said in an interview on Tuesday.

Presented by Saskatchewan Country CKBI, Two Miles for Mary takes place from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Heritage Centre. During this time, you can phone (306) 763-MARY (6279) with a donation to Seniors Transportation.

Keller said she uses the service to visit her husband at the Pineview Care Home, visit her friends, get groceries and go to Saskatoon for medical appointments.

She also used Seniors Transportation to go with her mother to medical appointments. They lived together until her mom passed away about three years ago.

Having no vehicles at their house, Seniors Transportation “really was a blessing,” described Keller.

She’s also never had a driver’s license.

“I walked all the time and I enjoyed walking, so it was a good thing to keep me healthy that way, but at times I wish I did have (a license), but not anymore,” said Keller. “To keep a vehicle is an unbelievable cost and being a senior, I wouldn’t want to be driving at my age.”

Keller said Seniors Transportation is extremely affordable, costing $5 one way and an extra dollar for stops at the pharmacy, the bank or the post office. This price is if the destination is in Prince Albert or within a three mile radius of the city.

They also offer medical charters to Saskatoon.

“I don’t know what I would do without it, really. It gives me freedom; it gives me independence. I just know I can pick up the phone and I know that I’m going to be able to get to the things I need to go to. It means a lot,” said Keller.

She added she’s never come across a service like Seniors Transportation in other cities she’s lived in.

She expressed her appreciation for the service’s dispatcher, as well as the drivers.

“They help you. They carry your groceries or whatever you want. They’re really good and they let you out and they wait until you get into the door before they go away,” said Keller. “They’re all very courteous and very helpful.”

Seniors Transportation is subsidized by the City of Prince Albert and the provincial government.

It’s available five days a week for anyone 60 years old and up.

They recommend booking your ride at least 24 hours before you need to be picked up.