City council may have to judge who makes the best cinnamon buns in town after the community’s two seniors’ organizations claimed they did during recent presentations.
The Moose Jaw and District Seniors Association and the Cosmo Senior Citizens Centre presented to council on Nov. 22 during the start of 2023 budget deliberations. The seniors’ groups were two of 15 third-party organizations that spoke about their funding needs for next year.
The association is asking for $36,771, which is $1,071 more than this year, while the centre wants $20,000 to $25,000, compared to the $15,300 this year.
The association has 442 members and has begun selling memberships for 2023, and so far, it has sold 54 new ones, said board secretary Elaine Parsons while reviewing the organization’s activities.
The association has a café at its Timothy Eaton Gardens location, which serves breakfast, lunch, and afternoon coffee and dainties during the week — and “the best cinnamon buns in the city on Thursdays,” she continued. “They are very, very good.”
Parsons also claimed that the Moose Jaw and District Seniors Association has the best chef and encouraged residents to take advantage of her catering and cooking skills.
The organization plans to hold its third annual seniors’ Christmas card campaign this year, which sees it collect cards and distribute them to all seniors in every care home, she said.
Meanwhile, it recently collected winter clothing for residents as part of another outreach initiative. With the recent cold, the organization encouraged the newcomer centre to send over immigrants so they could take socks, sweaters, coats and other clothing.
“We need money, so we have ongoing fundraising,” continued Parsons.
Some initiatives include an Elvis Presley tribute night, a grocery raffle, an Ode to Christmas eat-in or take-out supper on Dec. 5 and an afternoon with Santa Claus — Glenn Hagel will suit up — on Dec. 17 with Grade 7 and 8 students at St. Margaret School.
Parsons added that several businesses have donated money so the association can give every student a gift bag.
The organization expects revenues next year to be $255,507.12 and expenses to be $252,548, leaving a surplus of $2,959.12.
Before he started his presentation, Cosmo treasurer Robert (Bob) Cobbe joked that he took “umbrage” with Parsons’ comments about Timothy Eaton Gardens having the best cinnamon buns in town, to which she replied, “They are.”
“No fighting, no fighting,” council chairman Coun. Jamey Logan chuckled as the rest of council laughed.
Cobbe then reviewed the centre’s activities and services, noting several weekends ago, the organization hosted a four-day square dance reunion that attracted 94 people. This was the first such event in three years because of the pandemic.
“So they really had fun,” he said, adding 10 dancers from North Dakota planned to come, but “the little snowfall” Moose Jaw received convinced them to stay home.
The centre started a pickleball program two weeks before the pandemic began and is now firing it up again, Cobbe said. The group expects to lose $1,500 and $2,000 in pickleball revenue next year because — he humorously pointed out — the city opened new courts this year.
The organization is also facing rising costs for everything —repairs, maintenance, cost of living, utilities — and doesn’t want to raise prices because fewer seniors could afford to participate, which means more isolation for them, he continued.
The centre may have to replace two furnaces and an air conditioner next year, which could cost $95,000, Cobbe added, which is why it also wants to split building repairs 50/50 with the city.
The organization has roughly 300 members, while it projects expenses and revenues next year to be $116,896.
The next special council meeting is Wednesday, Nov. 30.