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FILIA Walk A Thon raises funds for senior citizens’ needs

Create: 09/19/2016 - 20:54

The Park Extension Association for Senior Citizens, otherwise known as FILIA, had great weather for their 10th annual seniors Walk A Thon event held on Saturday Sept. 10 on the streets near their Ogilvy Ave. headquarters.
Someone who used to attend regularly – Papineau MP Justin Trudeau – was not present this year as he became the country’s prime minister in October 2015 and understandably was too busy. But VSP Borough Mayor Anie Samson and Park Extension city councillor Mary Deros did take part, along with several leading members of Montreal’s Hellenic community.
More than 120 took part
While FILIA’s initial mission was to provide assistance for Greek women of the Park Extension Hellenic community, its mandate has since then broadened and people of every origin are welcome. Some of the services FILIA provides are home housekeeping and supervision, volunteer training and a healthcare clinic for the feet.
According to FILIA executive-director Johanna Tsoublekas, more than 120 people took part in the walk. As it was a celebration to make a decade, there was live music. The walkers made their way through the streets of Park Ex all the way to Jarry Park where they stopped for a rest at a gazebo. Those who wished could also participate in an outdoor yoga class in the park.
Meals-on-wheels fundraiser
“It was all very good and everyone felt better following the yoga class,” Tsoublekas told Nouvelles Parc Extension News. BBQ’s souvlaki was also served, and there was plenty of bottled water to safeguard the participants from dehydration following the exhilarating walk. Souvenir mugs with the FILIA logo were also available. Everyone was so pleased that some even started dancing at one point, Tsoublekas added.
The Walk A Thon is held in September every year as a fundraiser for the FILIA meals-on-wheels program. “Every day more and more seniors need our services,” said Tsoublekas. “Many seniors live alone and the number grows every day. Some are not able to take care of themselves, so meals-on-wheels is something they depend on. FILIA is one of the elements of the local support network.”
Quality of life issues
Besides basic support, according to Tsoublekas, the seniors helped by FILIA also have quality-of-life needs. “These people are also entitled to other things,” she said, noting that one of her pet projects remains to eventually build a special centre for senior citizens.
“Especially the Greek seniors, if you go around to the shopping centres where you’ll find groups of them who go there to meet. If they had their own place they would go there and take part in activities, go on trips, have activities. My dream is to create something like this.”

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Martin C. Barry