Club 626 Seniors

Club-lunch-smIn 1986 the Board of Directors of the Guild had the foresight to initiate the formation of a club for members of the Ensemble and Guild who were, at the time, turning 65 and retiring from their professions. The result – Club 626 Seniors was born. An application to New Horizons of the federal government to help develop the activities of this new organization was successful and a new venture began.

The first President of Club 626 Seniors was Michael Sportun and the committee included senior members of the Shevchenko Male Chorus, Toronto Mandolin Orchestra and the Guild. In the years that followed the Club was chaired by Eva Rayko, Bill Morris, and Stan Nazarec. The current President is Florenz Seychuk.

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The Club established monthly meetings to which guest speakers are invited to lecture on a variety of topics such as health issues, home safety and other concerns for seniors. The lecture is followed by a wonderful lunch prepared by the members on a theme of a particular holiday such as Easter or Thanksgiving. In the early years of the Club, members – both men and women – made the Ukrainian dish “pyrohy” (or perogies), first for sale in the kitchens at large bazaars sponsored by the Guild, and later they were made on a monthly basis for sale to members as a fundraising project for the Guild.

For a number of years, a craft group for women met weekly to create interesting articles for sale at bazaars, picnics and other events. This was also the committee which visited members in hospital, or visited and helped ill members in their homes.

One of the international projects of the Club was gathering medical supplies, sports equipment and school supplies for countries such as Cuba.

Xmas-Club-626The Club, over the years, honoured active volunteers at a special luncheon to close off their season of activities.  Currently, a barbeque, known as “Garlic Fest” is held during the summer; and a Christmas Party is held in early December. The Club organizes various outings once or twice year – to the local theatre, to Stratford or Shaw Festivals and other places of interest.

Club 626 Seniors is not only a wonderful activity for members who are retired but want to keep busy, but it also lends moral and financial support to the Shevchenko Musical Ensemble and Guild.

Everyone is welcome to join. Just contact the SME at info-sme@bellnet.ca or call 416-533-2725.