Dorothy Nicholson recently celebrated her 100th birthday and on Feb. 24 she had a chance to do something she hadn’t done in many years.
Nicholson and some other residents of the Village by the Station assisted living facility got to take part in a “fun” hockey game at the Summerland Arena thanks to members of the Penticton Vees Junior A Hockey Club, some community volunteers and Village staff.
“I had the greatest time,” said Nicholson afterwards. “I used to enjoy skating. It was so much fun being on the ice again.”
Among those lending a hand on the ice was former School District 67 Superintendent Gary Doi who, along with the Vees players, helped guide the wheelchairs occupied by Village players up and down the ice surface.
“I was thrilled to help out as a volunteer. I skated Dorothy around and tried to maneuver her wheelchair so she could stickhandle and take shots on goal. It’s actually a lot harder than it looks,” said Doi.
He described the event, organized by Village recreation coordinator Andrea Jones and therapy aides Twyla Swartz and Lynn Nackoney, with assistance from community supporters Ivan McLelland and the Penticton Vees hockey team, as the stuff memories are made of.
Not surprisingly McLelland, who turns 89 March 15 and was a member of the 1955 World Championship Penticton Vees men’s hockey team, was in net for much of the game trying to stop the Village team members.
He added, while members of the V’s (Village) Hockey Team may not have played hockey before they made up for any skill short coming with their enthusiasm and positive attitude.
“Life should be about nonstop growth. Whether you’re 40, 60, 80 or even 100 years old, there is always something interesting and worthwhile to learn and do. Right?” said Doi.