The Therapeutic Lake Cruises (TLC) Society is no longer adrift now that their pontoon patio boat has found moorage.
The boat, used for the enjoyment of senior citizens and the disabled population in the Central Okanagan, is being moored at Shelter Bay Marina for no cost.
During the summer of 2010, the pontoon boat was docked, free of charge, at the Kelowna Yacht Club. This spring, the moorage agreement with the KYC was denied.
Patsy Gillis, spokesperson for the TLC Society, said that the refusal to moor came as an unpleasant surprise to the group.
“When we first formed in 2009, we were working with a community recreation coordinator at the Water Street Seniors Centre.
He helped us form this society. He went next door to talk to the manager at the yacht club,” said Gillis.
“It was all a go: We were going to have moorage there. We understood it was part of their mandate to provide community service for seniors. We understood they were setting aside some spaces at the yacht club to fill that mandate.”
Gillis said that the agreement wasn’t in writing; therefore, there was little the TLC Society could do when they were refused moorage this year.
“It kind of ticked us off because I know they’ve expanded the yacht club, they added a lot of slips. They just said they couldn’t provide for everyone because they get too many requests.
“We were really at a low point and we felt like we might even have to sell the boat and give up.”
Shelter Bay Marina relieved the society when they stepped in and agreed to provide the service for free.
Although Gillis isn’t aware of how long Shelter Bay Marina will be able to continue mooring the pontoon patio boat for free, she is happy the boat has a home for now.
According to Gillis, the majority of passengers on the boat come from care homes.
“The society is mostly run by a group of local recreation coordinators in long-term care homes. There’s about eight of (us). So we spread the word amongst all of the groups. We have lots of networking that way.”
Gillis said that the society also contacts groups that look after disabled people.
So far, over 20 different groups of passengers have been taken out on Okanagan Lake this boating season.
The TLC Society is looking for volunteers to captain the boat or help with fundraising projects. The group has monthly meetings and it encourages the public to attend.
For more information, visit www.tlcsociety.ca, or e-mail the group at email@example.com.