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Seniors making use of local center's own bus

 

This group of seniors took the bus to Spokane for a day of shopping recently. The bus was given to the Grand Coulee Dam Senior Center by People for People, and carries 14 passengers. Pictured from left: driver Steve Phillips, Marie Chuinard, Dorothea Grandorf, Constance Wilson, Jean Mueller, Jean Graff, Bev Bowman, Betty Davis, Kitty Phillups, Katy Riley and Norma Smith. The shopping trip is the third Friday of each month and costs $15. — Roger S. Lucas photo

The seniors are getting mobile.

The Grand Coulee Dam Senior Center’s new once-a-month program of going to Spokane to shop has been successful and they are already planning trips to theater productions this fall and winter.

The seniors recently were given a 14-passenger bus by People For People, and the donation was barely in their possession before they took their first trip.

Seniors now go to Northtown Mall the third Friday of each month, hauling passengers for $15 per person.

There were 11 on the first trip. It took about $100 for gas.

Now the seniors are in line for a second bus from People-to-People, which they should get this fall.

Bob Schryvers, who is one of the organizers of the bus program, said the seniors’ second bus is newer and in better shape. The first bus has over 300,000 miles on it, but the second bus has considerably less mileage on it than that, Schryvers stated.

Marie Chuinard, who sits on the Electric City Council, is the other organizing partner in the bus program.

She went on the first trip July 19 and said the group had a great time.

Shopping isn’t the only thing being planned.

The seniors already have trips scheduled for theater productions in October and December.

For October, seniors are making reservations on the bus to see “Anything Goes” at the INB Performing Arts Center. In December the group has a bus run to the same place for “Million Dollar Quartet.”

The sticker price for the theater runs goes for $54.50 for the ticket, and $15 for the bus ride.

Why two buses?

Schryvers said if something happens to one bus, the seniors have a backup.

People for People used to provide bus service to seniors here but the group’s funding kept getting cut. They were providing some 50-60 hours of service, and seniors had to continuously pick up more of the cost.

One way to solve that and get out of the bus business was to donate the bus to the seniors.

The seniors provide their own drivers. Both buses are wheelchair friendly, with lifts.

The theater trips look like they will be popular. Six have already signed up for the October event. You can sign up at the Senior Center.

 

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