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Askennonia volunteer keeps the coffee and the conversation hot

"If something needs doing, she just does it. She's a great, great, great volunteer," says Blair Randolph, the volunteer and events manager at Askennonia Senior Centre

Monday morning Coffee Break is a pleasure with friendly volunteer Peggy Lamers running the show at Askennonia Senior Centre in Midland.

Lamers comes in early Monday morning, sets the tables, makes the coffee, greets the members and keeps the conversation rolling.

"It's a great way to see people, chat and stay active," she says.

For $1 a drop-in, members aged 55+ can enjoy coffee and cookies and conversation from 10:30 a.m. to noon. There are about 25 regulars and new people every week.

"Today we were having an interesting conversation about LGBT and understanding pronouns. We have conversations like that around the table. Sometimes it's political and then there's people who will change the subject before it gets too heated," she jokes.

"It's a good feeling to get together with people and chat with the crowd," she says.

Socializing comes naturally for Lamers, who continues to work as a hairdresser.

"Sometimes we just talk about something we've seen on television or something coming up. It's been great," she says.

Lamers grew up with volunteering because her mother did a lot of it through the Catholic Women's League and teaching literacy. When her daughter was younger, Lamers volunteered for six years with the Girl Guides and Pathfinders in Midland.

Blair Randolph, volunteer and events manager at Askennonia, says she realized how much work Lamers does when she was away one Monday and had to take her spot.

"She does a lot on Mondays. We didn't realize what she takes on. If we don't have milk, she zips out and buys milk. She just does. If something needs doing, she just does it. She's a great, great, great volunteer," says Randolph.

"She loves it here. We love her here too."

Lamers, 65, has been a member of Askennonia for years and participates in various classes, including the Thursday Zumba class.

"I'm a Zumba queen," she jokes. "I've been doing it for 15 years."

Her father is almost 90 and keeps active, so Lamers follows his example and keeps active too. She said she is surprised at how youthful the members are.

"They have so much energy," she adds.

Lamers plans to continue volunteering at Askennonia. 

"If I wasn't working as much, I would be volunteering more often," she says.

"It's a very inviting place. There is lots to do. People are friendly. It's great. There is lots of programs for people," she says.

Askennonia Senior Centre is located with the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre at 527 Len Self Blvd. It is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information or to join the centre, call 705-526-7609 or find them on Facebook.

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Gisele Winton Sarvis

About the Author: Gisele Winton Sarvis

Gisele Winton Sarvis is an award winning journalist and photographer who has focused on telling the stories of the people of Simcoe County for more than 25 years
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