Gloria-Jean Seymour started a club for lonely seniors this year which has been an ongoing success. - Carli Berry/Capital News

Gloria-Jean Seymour started a club for lonely seniors this year which has been an ongoing success. - Carli Berry/Capital News

Lonely seniors club addresses need for senior activities in Kelowna

The Dine and Chat has more than 200 members, and they meet weekly

Gloria-Jean Seymour holds a bejewelled pink jar that she brings to every one of her seniors’ events and says money goes into it every time someone swears, mentions President Donald Trump or talks about an illness.

Seymour started a lonely senior singles club called Dine and Chat in February after she found herself in need of companions.

The money is collected after each breakfast or lunch the group holds and is given as a tip to the waitress, she said.

The swear jar came as an idea to keep everyone positive.

RELATED: Peachland seniors club adds line dancing

“We have about (so many years of experience) amongst all of us and we all have a story and if we all start talking about negativity, we’re just going to get down, aren’t we?” she asked.

She started the group by publishing a small ad in the Capital News because she was feeling lonely around Valentine’s Day.

“I kind of get a little blue at that time, being single for 11 years and having lost my mom, my dad, my brother. I felt that there was such a void and a reason for that time because before that I had retired after 50 years of hairdressing,” she said.

At the time, around 13 people showed up. That number has since grown to more than 200 and includes three volunteers along with Seymour.

“When they came for my first event at the Old Spaghetti Factory, and 13 people showed up, they were absolute strangers, I never met them in my life and I just had a couple tears,” she said.

“They were all very calm and withdrawn and you could see they didn’t know if they wanted to be there or not because they just had lost their spouses.

RELATED: New one-stop shop for seniors health opens in Kelowna

As time went on they’ve all become chatty Cathys. They made friends amongst each other, they do things together,” she said.

“I see so much love. When you come to Denny’s, you can feel the love in the air. It’s beautiful to see.”

The Dine and Chat is for members over 55. Every Tuesday, the group meets at the local Denny’s for breakfast or lunch and every second week for a picnic, dance or other activity. Membership to the group is free.

At each event, at the end of the event I get them to write down what their experience is,” she said. The book has been with her since the beginning and carries messages from the seniors saying how good it was to meet everyone.

When she was sick for a month, she received an overwhelming show of love and support from the group.

She said she would love for these types of events to be taken on by the City of Kelowna as there’s a need for senior events in the community.

“That’s the fun part of it all and I love the marketing end of it,” she said. “I would be interested in doing fundraising for sure.”

Seymour is considering expanding the group to include married seniors as well.

To find out more about the Dine and Chat, call Seymour at 250-763-6495.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

(File photo)
Repeated cougar sighting on Okanagan Rail Trail

Plenty of bear sightings around the valley too

Cassie Bonthoux and James Nelson (Contributed/Facebook)
Kelowna dealer who operated international dark web drug ring denied appeal

The BC Court of Appeal denied James Nelson an appeal on his 11-year prison sentence

Vernon local Ryan Lazar – who specializes in 2D background design and 3D animation – is ready to start his career after a tough yet rewarding two years of studies. (Contributed)
Okanagan College students get animated at graduation

‘The pandemic has resulted in more video consumption and the animation industry is so hot right now because of it’

A screenshot from the Kelowna Fire Department’s new Fire Safety House educational video. (Contributed)
Kelowna Fire Department’s Fire Safety House goes virtual

To adjust to the pandemic, KFD is offering virtual fire safety videos, virtual tours of fire hall

WildSafeBC is reminding residents to keep manage wildlife attractants on their property. (WildSafeBC Central Okanagan)
WildSafeBC reminds residents to manage attractants as bears spotted in Okanagan

The most prominent reminder is to keep garbage secured indoors until collection day

Barriere RCMP nabbed two suspects who were allegedly breaking into cabins in McLure. (File photo)
Thieves nabbed by Barriere Mounties during McLure break-ins

Police Service Dog Kody instrumental in making the arrest

KCR Migrant Support Worker, Javier, had an exciting day escorting his son Ian with him during ‘Take your Child to Work Day’!
KCR: Volunteering is being part of a whole

KCR Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

RCMP vest
Penticton beach brawl results in one arrest but no charges

People took to social media after a fight broke out at the fire pits at Okanagan Lake Saturday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Salmon Arm RCMP seize a handgun, drugs and cash at a Silver Creek property on Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Police seize handgun, drugs and cash at a Shuswap property

Salmon Arm RCMP said warrant for Silver Creek revealed cannabis, possible cocaine, magic mushrooms

Most Read