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Vancouver's Joy Gaze Selected as "Resident of the Year" by BC Seniors Living Association
Champagne corks were popping at Terraces on 7th Retirement Residence in October to celebrate the selection of resident Joy Gaze as British Columbia’s “Resident of the Year” by the BC Seniors Living Association (BCSLA).
The LEAP award is presented annually to a BC senior for: significant achievements in their lifetime; contributions to their community; inspirational support to others in dealing with life’s challenges; championing social causes; and contributing to the quality of life of residents around them.
BCSLA Executive Director, Marlene Williams, said Joy is a caring and community-focused senior and well deserving of the award.
“Joy’s volunteering for worthy causes is legendary,” says Ms. Williams. “At a time when she could easily be sitting back and enjoying a quiet life, she is out there doing far more for the community than most of us.”
Joy’s many activities include fundraising and support work for Crabtree Corner, the YWCA’s family resource centre on the Downtown Eastside, and for Emma House, a day care facility that looks after babies of young teenage mothers so that they can stay in school.
She is also focused on sharing her performing arts skills with other residents at Terraces on 7th, and has produced and directed two pantomimes: “A Fairy Frolic” and “The Terraces Seven,” – a video clip of which even made its way onto YouTube.
As a special treat for her fellow residents, Joy arranged for her son, Christopher Gaze, founder and director of Bard on the Beach, and a renowned entertainer himself, and a colleague to perform for them at Terraces on 7th.
While thrilled by the award, Joy does not regard her activities and community involvement as unusual.
“I’m able to make a contribution because I am healthy, which is a real blessing and reminds me every day of how fortunate I am,” she says.
Terraces on 7th general manager, Jerilyn Lee, says Joy plays a big role in raising spirits and creating a sense of community at the residence.
“Apart from the fun that Joy generates all around her, she has also mobilized other residents to give back to the community. For example, our ‘In-Stitch-Us’ knitting group knits blankets, hats and baby clothes for Crabtree Corner,” says Ms. Lee.
She recalls an occasion when there were so many donations to Crabtree Corner that the Terraces on 7th bus was commandeered to deliver them, and Joy used the opportunity to take along other members of In Stitch-Us to go down “to see where all their sympathy and love is actually going.”
Azim Jamal, President and CEO of Vancouver-based Retirement Concepts, which owns and operates Terraces on 7th, says Joy’s award is an inspiration to not only seniors in B.C., but all residents.
“Joy’s contributions to the community are an example to all of us and we congratulate her on this award. Joy demonstrates daily that compassion and caring are among the most important qualities in life and that they make a real difference in the community,” says Dr, Jamal.
Joy received her award from Ida Chong, the BC Minister of Healthy Living and Sport, at the BCSLA’s annual conference in Victoria on October 18th.
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Terraces on 7th
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