Spruce View drop-in centre in danger of closing

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012 06:00 am | VICTORIA PATERSON

Golden West Drop In Centre in Spruce View will likely be closing its doors unless more members are found to participate in functions or upkeep of the building.

Golden West Drop In Centre, also known as Spruce View Drop In Centre, has been serving the area since 1980, society president Lorna Befus said.

“The ones that originally started have all passed away now,” Befus said, noting her parents were among the founding members.

Befus said many of the active members in the group are actually from Innisfail and Penhold, with only three hailing from Spruce View itself. One of those three just started in the past couple of weeks, Befus said. Befus herself is an Innisfail resident.

“We’re just trying to get the people of Spruce View,” Befus said. “We’re trying to get new members.”

Befus said her group has approached other community groups within Spruce View to get them interested in using the building, but with no success.

“(We) can’t seem to get anyone interested,” she said. “We’re hitting our head against the wall.”

The building is used for member functions but can also be rented out for things like birthday parties. Currently groups use the centre for cribbage, bridge, line dancing and a few other events, but other functions like a regular potluck or carpet bowling are now poorly attended or defunct.

There are about 50 members of the group but only 10 or so are active, Befus said. The building, which can be rented for $50 a day, has facilities like a full kitchen, a library, a small room called the craft room, a room with a pool table and dart boards and more.

Befus said she’d like to see both more members of the group and more people using the building in general.

“I don’t care what they put in there as long as it’s something,” Befus said.

Befus said the drop-in centre used to be a lot busier than it is now.

“I suppose in the early 1990s it started to dwindle,” she said.

She’s unsure of what the future could be if more members and users aren’t found, or what kind of timeline there would be for shutting down the centre.

“It’s a big question mark,” she said.

Myrtle Grovet is the president of West Country Ink, a writer’s group that has been meeting at the Golden West Drop In Centre for 12 years. She’s also a member of the centre itself.

“It will sure be a terrible loss if it closes,” she said. Grovet is from just outside of Spruce View and said the other members of the writing group are from the area as well.

She agreed with Befus that one of the main issues is a lack of attendance and participation.

“The problem is so few people come,” Grovet said. “We really need a lot more people coming to whatever’s happening there.”


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