The Granby Senior Center celebrated the arrival of its new 14-passenger van on Wednesday, June 5, with a ribbon cutting ceremony, inaugural van ride and luncheon. Several members of the center joined board members from the Granby Community Fund to commemorate this special occasion. The top rider, Elaine A., did the honors of cutting the ribbon.
The Granby Senior Center provides transportation to residents 60 and over and those who are disabled. This past fiscal year, the transportation department provided 3,483 rides and traveled 17,483 miles. That includes medical appointments, social and recreational trips, shopping and rides to the Community Café lunch held twice a week at the center.
Senior Center member Al S. wrote a poem to mark the event. His words ring true for many, “Offering a ride for those who cannot drive, Is a way of keeping the seniors alive.” That sentiment was echoed by others at the luncheon. Beverly B. stated, “The line in Al’s poem is true; without the van I would die. It has given me back my life.” It isn’t just the ability to get to where they need to go; it’s the friendships that are established. Fred H. said, “It gives you a chance to get to know people and their stories.” Elaine A. said it helps her feel independent, being able to go shopping without having to ask others for a ride. She expressed that if it wasn’t for the van and the Senior Center, she would be home feeling depressed. Human Services Director Sandra Yost added, “I am so pleased and proud of the Senior Van service. As our members have said, the Granby Senior Van service is a vital part of their lives. It not only provides transportation but also a link to better health, higher social engagement and increased self-esteem. We look forward to welcoming more riders to enjoy the safe, affordable service. Special thanks go out to our Department of Public Works mechanics team, Jimmy and Mike, for keeping our fleet of vehicles good working order”.
Patty Sansone, co-president of the Granby Community Fund, expressed how proud it is to offer grants that assist with the transportation program. As a volunteer at the Waste Not Want Not Community Dinners, she also mentioned that she hears about all the fun members have going on trips and out to lunch on the van. Patty is also a current member and past chairman of the Commission on Aging. She was delighted that the funding came together in order to make a new van a reality.
For more information on the transportation program please contact the Granby Senior Center at 860-844-5350.