November 21, 2018

30 years and no rain

Seniors visit Mio Pond for a day of barbecue and boat rides

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MIO — For the 30th year in a row the annual senior day at Mio pond has gone off without a single drop of rain to ruin the festivities.

Annually nursing homes and senior living centers from around Northern Michigan load up their residents and travel to the pond to spend a day on the water with each other. The event has been completely free since its inception and event organizer Carol Pillars said each year nearly 20 groups participate.

“This is our 30th year doing this,” Pillars said. “It all started with just a small sportsmen’s club. Since then the Lions Club has taken over. … We started doing it years ago before nursing homes had the means to get seniors out and as active as they are now.”

Pillars said in the early days of the event groups would travel to car dealerships and ask them to use their transport vans in order to get the seniors to the pond.

At the event residents are able to try their hand at fishing, have a barbecue lunch and take a river trip on pontoon boats provided by Twin Lakes Marina of Lewiston. Pillars said this event means more to those who attend than just a simple day at the lake.

“I recall one member that got off the bus to enjoy the day,” she said. “When he smelled the water it brought tears to his eyes because he hadn’t been in that environment in years. He was remembering going fishing with his father.”

Pillars said this event showcases why it’s important to be able to count on those close to us when age becomes a deterrent from activity.

“It’s important that as we get older we’re able to rely on those who are able to help us out,” she said. “It’s up to us to get them out.”

Pillars said she isn’t sure for how many more years the event will run, but she is proud of what the event has done over the last 30 years and hopes it will continue to run for years to come.

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