This has to be one of the friendliest groups of Canasta card sharks you’ll ever meet! If you like to play cards, stop by the Parkview Center to play Pinochle, Canasta, and, if there is enough interest, Whist and Cribbage.

“We have had a very busy summer,” announced Laura McKenna, Director at the Parkview Center. “And we are counting on it being just as busy for fall and winter.”

Being busy is just what McKenna wants to see at Parkview Center and with all they have going on, busy might just be an understatement.

This past summer, McKenna said they did once a month field trips, inviting not just seniors, but anyone who wanted to go for a drive and visit a different place.

“We went to Fort Benton, Havre and visited the Conrad Mansion in Kalispell,” McKenna said. “We had 14 people join us for the trip to Fort Benton and we had the best day ever. It was so much fun.”

They are going to try and get another field trip in this month, weather-depending, which will be as McKenna described, “a simple road trip where we will go to Great Falls, then come back via the back roads through Augusta and Choteau and have lunch somewhere along the way. Hopefully it will be a nice day for a drive and we will have a great group enjoying the time with us.”

Also, for the summer, their very popular lunch program remained up and running or rather, up and feeding. “My goal was to see 20 people for lunch every day. We did that, no problem and several days, saw 25 and even a few days where 30 people joined us. It has far exceeded my expectations and I couldn’t be happier about how well received our lunch program is for seniors and so many others too.”

For those over 60, the cost of lunch is a “suggested donation of $5,” McKenna said. “And for anyone under 60, the cost is $6. If anyone over 60 just doesn’t have the five bucks that day, no sweat, they can still eat and join us.”

The summer lunch became super popular thanks to an outstanding salad bar McKenna and her staff put together along with a regular entrée item they offered each weekday. And now that the weather is turning more fall-like, that salad bar has turned into a soup bar.

“I love soups and I am excited that we will be offering some very yummy soups for fall,” said McKenna.

Other than a delicious soup bar, what else is happening this fall at Parkview?

“We are starting up several things. One of those is a round robin tournament for both pinochle and canasta. And there has been some interest in starting up cribbage and whist play, too. They are looking for interested players for all of those games, so if you are one of those, contact us here at Parkview, or just come in and visit with us,” McKenna said.

Bingo is just getting started and is on the second and fourth Monday of the month at 1 p.m. and costs $5 for six boards. 

“Scrapbooking is very big and we have had a number of people want to learn more about that, so on the third Friday of each month at 1 p.m., we will be starting a scrapbooking group,” McKenna said.

Parkview will be buying the first album for those scrapbookers and will provide all the other supplies as well. “The only thing we can’t provide are the pictures to put in those scrapbooks,” McKenna said. “This is a great way to organize your pictures and have some fun doing it.”

There has also been interest in starting a board game day, playing games like Scrabble and Aggravation. “We have not got that completely organized yet, but would love to hear from those that would like to join us,” McKenna said. “And we are hoping to have a movie day this winter.”

She added, “It is all about keeping our minds active and busy and if we can do that with others and have a great time, then it is time well spent.”

Still on tap at Parkview is Thursday grocery shopping day at 1 p.m. McKenna drives any of those that need some help getting groceries to the store, helps them shop and then brings them back to their homes, if she picked them up there or returns them to Parkview.

“If we pick them up at their homes, then after shopping we will take them back home and even help them unpack their groceries and put them away,” McKenna said. “I would like to see this program grow even more because I know there are some home bound people that do not know we do this. Just give us a call and let us know you want to shop with us on Thursday.”

When McKenna started last year, there were eight people that were home bound and opted to have lunch delivered to them. 

“We now do 22 home meal deliveries and I expect that number to increase as we start getting into winter,” she said. “If you are over 60 and home bound, you qualify for this program, so give us a call and we can get you started.”

McKenna added that if you are home bound, but would like to get out for lunch, you can call Parkview and have them come get you and bring you down to the Center for lunch. “We just need a day’s notice and then we can come get you and bring you here for lunch,” she shared. 

McKenna is right, there is a lot going on at Parkview Center. To find out more information about any of the programs or to get started receiving home meals or set up time to go grocery shopping, call McKenna at 873-2961.

“We are looking forward to our winter season here at Parkview and hope you will find ways to join us in any or all of our activities,” she concluded. 

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