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“They were all very calm and withdrawn and you could see they didn’t know if they wanted to be there or not because they just had lost their spouses.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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

(BC Conservation Service)
Hunter charged, fined for poaching immature moose in West Kelowna

Richard Fischer pled guilty to two charges under the BC Wildlife Act

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

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

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Most Read