Senior citizens may want more snow since there is now one more activity for them to do in the Brainerd lakes area.
The Lakes Area Senior Activity Center was blessed Thursday with 20 pairs of snowshoes that were donated to the center from UCare. Members of the senior center will be able to check out the snowshoes anytime — day or night or over a weekend.
“This is so exciting,” said DeAnn Barry, director of the senior center. “This will generate another activity for the seniors to help them stay healthy and active. As long as we live in Minnesota we might as well be outside.
“I think the snowshoes will be popular among our members. And the shoes have poles with them that will help seniors with their balance.”
Barry said the center will start a snowshoe club and will plan a few events for seniors to get together to snowshoe.
Sharon Notch, UCare medicare marketing representative for Central Minnesota, said UCare donated 100 pairs of snowshoes to nonprofit organizations in the state, including 10 pairs to the Hallett Community Center in Crosby.
“We have a good relationship with the senior centers and this is a good deal,” said Notch. “Snowshoeing is a good activity for seniors.”
Senior center board members and center members got a chance to try on the snowshoes Thursday. Some of them needed help putting the snowshoes on and other were able to do it on their own.
“These are great,” said Dale Roberts of Baxter, as he trekked around in the snow in front of the senior center. He was the first senior to get his snowshoes on. “I used to go cross country skiing, but this is much easier. Snowshoes are too expensive to buy, but this will work to check them out at the senior center.”
Roberts, a senior center board member, said he does woodworking at the senior center, and now he also will be able to go snowshoeing.
Steve and Kathy Tusa of Brainerd had some fun trying out the new snowshoes.
“This is the first time I’ve ever had snowshoes on my feet,” laughed Steve Tusa. “Just trying them out. People will have to get out and try them.”
Kathy Tusa, a board member, said, “This is kind of fun. I might have to use them. People at the senior center will get a big kick out of them. It’ll be fantastic.”
Sherrie Christensen, a board member, said having the snowshoes available at the senior center will help bring more younger senior citizens to the senior center.
“The senior center is proactive in bringing more activities that would interest baby boomers and that is great,” said Christensen.
Brainerd City Council member Bonnie Cumberland, who is the senior center’s city liaison, gave the snowshoes a shot. She struggled a little bit to get them on, but with some assistance she was good to go. Cumberland said it’s great that UCare donated the snowshoes to the senior center. She said it is a great opportunity for seniors to get out and be active, especially in the lake area where there are many trails.