By Eraina Hooyer
The Ponoka Rising Sun Clubhouse Society held their annual general meeting at the clubhouse on June 18.
The past year was highlighted including the work program, food and beverage costs and finances.
The work program’s success was noted during the meeting as it cleared $540 compared to last year’s deficit of $8,000.
Eleanor McCloud gave her notice for the board of directors and the board is now looking for community members to join.
The Rising Sun Clubhouse has 195 members with approximately 125 that attend on a regular basis.
Dallas Sieben, chair of the board, gave a report and voiced that the Clubhouse should take pride in all the accomplishments over the past year.
“A house is built with bricks, lumber, fixtures and furnishings but a home can only be built by the people who live in the house. For example: our executive director is the pillar we lean on, the staff are the spokes we feed off and the members are the glue that holds it all together,” said Sieben. “You can all be very proud of the role that you play in the maintenance of such a special place, our Clubhouse.”
Carla Prediger, executive director of the Ponoka Rising Sun Clubhouse gave an address focused on the events that have happened throughout the years.
“We have seen staff and members grow and change over the years,” said Prediger. “Change will happen no matter what but it’s the clubhouse and the feeling here that keeps people coming.”
The members of the clubhouse were given the opportunity to voice their thoughts on their time at the Clubhouse. The words that were said were of appreciation and pride and many said it felt like home and were glad that everyone gets along there. Others voiced that it has helped them grow and take steps toward health and wellness.
Staff members were given recognition and a word of appreciation was given to Bob Hepp for volunteering to cater to the clubhouse every Wednesday.
Gina Trask was awarded the community work program member of the year plaque for her time and work in the program.
The Clubhouse focuses on enabling past or present consumers of mental health services to live independent and self-sufficient lives in the community. The Clubhouse works to help members feel involved in the community through life skills, social, recreational and work activities.
The work program, run by Brent Wilson, has approximately 12 active members that work to make the community a better place. The program offers cardboard and blue box pickup and members look after lawns and shovel sidewalks throughout the town. They have also helped out with transporting food to the food bank, setting up for pancake breakfasts during the Ponoka Stampede and much more.
“It’s our way of giving back to the community and be a part of it,” said Wilson. “It’s important for the members and the community, it gives members something to do and is a way to give back. We are doing something very valuable in the community and we are appreciated for that too.”
Prediger believes that the Clubhouse offers a valuable place to incorporate themselves into the town and gives them the tools needed to branch out.
“For the members we provide a place to reintegrate them into the community,” she said. “We strive to have people realize that they have a place in the community and given the right opportunity, they can grow.”