Following the decision to dissolve due to decreased popularity, the Sylvan Lake Seniors Bus Association donated its remaining funds to local non-profits during an event on April 18.
The not-for-profit group provided transportation for seniors to events and activities around central Alberta for over 30 years.
Over time, the group shrunk from serving about 17 seniors down to just two users before closing operations in January 2020.
“The decision to close was heart-wrenching for every member that was on the association,” said Judy Scanland, who served as a bus driver for over 20 years.
The Sylvan Lake Seniors Association, Sylvan Manor retirement homes, Sylvan Lake and Area Community Partners Association, Sylvan Lake Canadian Tire Jumpstart program and Rotary Club of Sylvan Lake are some of the donation recipients.
The organization gave out about $30,000 locally. This amount majorly comprises funds from the sale of the bus along with left-over bank deposits.
At one point, the bus would take full rounds of seniors to Red Deer for various amenities, casinos and out-of-province excursions among several other trips.
The bus association members hope the service revives sometime in the future.
Money donated to the Community Partners Association primarily aims to support the taxi program.
“We wouldn’t have to worry about funding for the taxi program for quite a long time,” said community partners executive director Donna Ellerby.
The taxi program offers every town resident up to $400 per year for medical appointments, shopping, or any other needs. The organization works with Associated Cab services to offer the free-of-cost program.
Recognizing a continued struggle around transportation in Sylvan Lake, the organization decided to use a town funding received in 2020 towards a taxi program.
Anyone looking to avail of the service can call the Community Partners Association office at 403-887-9989.