Senior citizens were fundraising, saving the lives of bears and having a good laugh all at once.
More than 20 people from the Elder Citizens Recreation Association spent Thursday picking, peeling, processing and packaging thousands of small apples. They will go into the ECRA freezer for making pies, a favourite dessert at their lunch counter. The apples all came from trees on the property of the Dickson family.
Rhonda Dickson said she could think of no better purpose for the otherwise wasted apples.
"We just have too many, we can't use them all," she said. About 400 pounds of them came off the trees Thursday morning. "We don't want them to just rot, and we have bears in the neighbourhood so we definitely don't want to attract them, we know they love the apples, so this can save them from having to be put down. It's a great cause."
It also gave the ECRA community access to all kinds of nutrition and treats. They were being given away to those who expressed an interest in the kinds best suited for raw eating, or for horses if they weren't prime.
Piles more were being peeled and sliced for the apple pie purpose, which generates money from their daily lunchtime cafeteria (open for the public from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
It required an assembly line of seniors and their supporters, all whittling away at the fruit. Even two staff members -- Laurel Schwartz and Amanda Vanderploeg -- finished their shifts but stayed to help.
"Other people also donate their apples to us, but not on this magnitude," said ECRA president Kathy Nadalin. She and husband Lino did the picking in the morning, before the rest of the apple gang joined them in the ECRA cafeteria for afternoon slicing and dicing. "As you can see, this place would not operate without its volunteers."