Resident-led events and clubs create purpose for Southampton Care Centre residents

Resident-Led Events and Clubs or REC programs are just one of the unique features of life at the Southampton Care Centre, a Jarlette Health Services long-term care home. The philosophy of REC is simple really. Rather than just providing activities and entertainment, REC events and clubs bring together residents with common interests and a shared purpose. If there are no REC programs that are of interest, residents create their own club, with assistance from staff or volunteers. 

Although a REC club with only one member, Bill Verkerke's annual Health and Stroke fundraising event is a popular one! Here's why. 
Bill sits in a chair in front of his display to bring attention to his heart and stroke fundraiser. David Jarlette, president of Jarlette, stands behind him after having just donated funds.
If you live in Southampton chances are you have met Bill Verkerke at the beach, seen him out on his fold up bike and he’s likely knocked on your door.  Bill canvassed for the Cancer Society, volunteered at the Salvation Army and most notably became the largest Heart and Stroke Society door to door fundraiser in Grey Bruce. 

Since 2002, Bill has raised over $50,000 for Heart and Stoke during their annual February campaign.  While others headed south for the sun, Bill diligently, travelled through snow, ice and sub zero temperatures in an effort to help others.  He had made many friends through out the years canvassing, all of whom were just as dedicated to him.

Bill suffered a stroke himself in late 2014 and he moved into the Southampton Care Centre the following January.

For three years now with the support of staff and family, Bill welcomes dozens of donors from his former canvassing routes to a booth he set up in the lobby at the Southampton Care Centre. Donations are pouring in once again this year. 

Stop by the Southampton Care Centre at 140 Grey Street in Southampton to see Bill and make your own donation to Heart and Stroke. Better yet join them on February 21st from 2-4 pm as they showcase REC and other successes in an effort to support the Ontario Long Term Care Association's campaign to promote Better Senior's Care.

In photo: Pictured with Bill is Southampton Care Centre's (Jarlette Health Services') president David Jarlette making a donation.