Splash of Spring from seniors

2016-08-09 06:00
The reigning Spring Queen of Ken-Fac Meals on Wheels, Mary Willemse, seated, gets some pampering from Johanna Papier, left, and Stella Johannisen, right, while last year’s 1st Princess, Sylvie Samuels, middle, wants to grab the crown for this year.

The reigning Spring Queen of Ken-Fac Meals on Wheels, Mary Willemse, seated, gets some pampering from Johanna Papier, left, and Stella Johannisen, right, while last year’s 1st Princess, Sylvie Samuels, middle, wants to grab the crown for this year. (Gary van Dyk)

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While Winter chills are still in the air, the seniors at the Ken-Fac Meals on Wheels are getting ready to welcome spring.

On Saturday 17 September they will be hosting their annual Spring Queen competition at the Kensington Civic Centre, but members are already getting their outfits ready for the occasion.

Originally the organisation was part of the Student Health and Welfare Organisation (Shawco) in 12th Avenue, but went on their own in 2006.

Soraya Alexander from the organisation explains that Shawco housed the seniors with current director Chantal Williams coordinating the club since 2000, and continues to do so.

“Today we are happy and proud to say that Ken-Fac Meals on Wheels is a registered non-profit organisation that has been feeding and caring for seniors and the disabled since 2006,” she says.

“The establishment of this organisation was inspired by the need for a provision of basic nutrition for the growing number of destitute senior citizens in the broader Kensington, Factreton and Maitland area as well as neighbouring informal settlements.

“We are proud to say that we supply meals to about 200 seniors daily, including people with disabilities.”

Alexander added that the members also meet on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays where breakfast is served and they enjoy some activities.

“We love to host the seniors here (the club is based adjacent to Shawco) on these days where they can exercise as well as enjoy some arts and crafts.

“They also get massages, and enjoy pampering at the foot clinic. Blood pressure is also taken every second week.”

It costs money to keep these activities going and while the project has been partly funded by the Department of Social Development since 2008, there is still a shortfall of about R100 000 each year.

“As such we find it necessary to institute various fund raising initiatives like selling meals to the public in the form of rooti, curry and vetkoek and also charging a small subscription fee to our seniors who are members of the club,” continues Alexander.

“The Spring Queen pageant is currently our biggest annual fund-raising event where we engage our seniors at the centre and also invite seniors from other clubs in the surrounding areas like Maitland, Pinelands, Rondebosch and Claremont to join us for this day of fun.

All the action will be starting at 09:00 on Saturday 17 September with music supplied by Tony Smith and clubs. Organisations in the community can also hire stalls for the day.

“We appeal to the community to please support this worthy cause on the day, but there is still a need for sponsorship of prizes to make the day special for all the participants,” says Alexander.

V For more information contact 021 593 0303 during office hours, or 083 226 5981, or email sorayaalexander2@gmail.com.

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