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(Posted 2:30 a.m., April 14)
GSAC's guiding force calls it a day after 23 years

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Gloucester Senior Adults Centre executive director shares a laugh with her daughter and grandson before cutting the cake at her retirement party on Friday. Fred Sherwin/Photo


For the past 23 years the Gloucester Senior Adults Centre has flourished under the guidance and leadership of Debbie Trickey, a bundle of energy and positivity who has left a lasting and loving impression on everyone involved with the GSAC.

On Friday, the GSAC and the community at large got to say thank you to Trickey who is retiring to spend more time with her husband Warren and her grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Jamie, who about to get a new addition.

"My plan was to retire when I turned 60, but I stuck around for two more years for the centre's 25th anniversary," said Trickey, during a break in her retirement party.

The proceedings opened with a 15-minute video retrospective of Trickey's 23 years at the centre, complete with dozens of photos that brought back a flood of memories.

The accolades started once the video presentation had ended. One of Trickey's frist acts as the centre's new executive director iwas to create an intergenerational partnership with Lester B. Pearson High School.

That partnership blossomed over the years and continues to flourish. Students from the school's hospitality program serve meals during special occasions at Thansgiving, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and Easter and they take part in the centre's annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

They also make regular visits to Laurier Manor where they interact with the alzheimer patients.

Lester B. Pearson principle Andre Potvin presented Trickey with a school letter and a group of students gave her a giant card.

"It's been a wonderful relationship that has really grown over the years and is really mutually beneficial," said Potvin.

Trickey often runs into former students who recall their experience with fondness.

"I meet these guys in the darndest places and they always are so nice. It's very gratifying and one of the things I'll miss the most," said Trickey.

Innes Ward city councillor Rainer Bloess reminded people how heavily involvrf Trickey was the cente.

"She wore so many hats. Fundraiser, party organizer, social director. Often times she wore two or three hats at the same time.," said Bloess. "I'm sure she would have made a great cruise director."

GSAC president Jacquie Lafontaine hinted that Trickey might nor be gone for long as she reminded eveybody thet Trickey recently became a member of the centre.

"Debbie will be truly missed, but the good news she recently became a member," said Lafontaine.

When it was Trickey's turn to take the mic, she thanked everyone for making her tenure at the helm of the GSAC so enjoyable, and memorable.

"I will never forget the first time we organized a trip to the casino. Let's just say it's a lot easier bringing 200 seniors to a casino than it is bringing them back. Seniors love to gamble, I tell ya'," Trickey joked.

"It's been a very emotional week, going through all the files and sharing so many stories. I want to thank all my colleagues; my husband Warren who has supported through all the ups and downs; my children who have grown up with the centre; and especially all the members who I will never forget."

"I worked very hard to bring the centre to the community and the community to the centre.and I believe we accomplished that,"

Trickey's only regret is that she was unsuccessfull in getting govenrment funding to expand the centre which is located on the second floor of the Earl Armstrong Arena. However, she hasn't given up yet and with the help of the local city councillors and the representatives at the provincial and federal level the centre may get its funding yet.

In the meantime, Trickey plans to sit on few committees now that she's a member of the centre.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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