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Senior centre celebrates 50th with circus, hoping Vernon doesn’t clown around with request

Halina Centre anniversary event looks for fee waiver from city
Mary Viala, 80, organizer of bingo at Vernon’s Halina Activity Centre, served as caller for the first session of the Vernon Winter Carnival Bingo Marathlon, Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the Halina Centre. The centre will celebrate 50 years of serving Greater Vernon on Sunday, Sept. 17. (Morning Star -file photo)

Don’t be afraid if a clown approaches you in one of several Vernon locations to invite people to a circus of such.

Vernon’s Halina Centre, located in the Vernon Recreation Complex, will celebrate 50 years of service on Sunday, Sept. 17, starting at 10:30 a.m.

The theme is Three Ring Circus.

“We will have committee members dressed as clowns and will be doing promotion for the event in downtown Vernon, Polson Park and at the (Vernon) Farmer’s Market,” said Diana Stanford, president of the Halina Activity Centre, who made a presentation and request to Vernon council Monday, Aug. 14.

The event will be open free of charge to the public, and the centre will be serving free coffee, beverages and popcorn. They also plan on having as many as 20 activities for attendees to enjoy. To do that, however, it would mean adding another facility nearby to the celebration.

Stanford told Vernon council they’d like to use the Centennial Outdoor Rink for their event, but were quoted a cost of $55 per hour for the event, which she estimates could run until around 5:30 p.m.

“We do not have sufficient funds to cover that,” said Stanford, who requested council waive the fee for the event.

Normally, a delegation has to wait until at least the next regular meeting before council discusses and votes on the request.

Coun. Akbal Mund wanted to waive the waiting period and “grant them (Halina) their wish.”

However, Mund’s motion was defeated with only he and Coun. Kari Gares in favour. Coun. Brian Quiring was absent from the meeting.

Thus, the Halina request will be discussed on Sept. 11, council’s next regular meeting, the week prior to the event.

Stanford said the centre is going to book the outdoor rink anyway.

The Halina Centre currently has more than 400 members over the age of 50.

There will be a survey conducted during the 50-year celebration as to what attendees would like to see at the centre moving forward.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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