COCHRANE— Adapting to the new normal during COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone, especially the senior community.
Beginning back in 1986, Seniors' Week was created to recognize the foundations and contributions of our seniors' in establishing and building Alberta.
Typically barbecues, gatherings, and anything from playing cards to drinking tea would be taking place from June 1 to 7, but with provincial public health protocols in place to limit the spread of the virus, this year's slogan and approach couldn't be anymore well suited - "Distance brings us together."
In light of Seniors' Week, Stockmen's Memorial Foundation alongside Cochrane Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) have put together a bingo game, COVID-19 style.
Executive director of the Stockmen's Memorial Foundation, Scott Grattidge said this will hopefully spark interest in the senior community as it incorporates Cochrane's extensive ranching history.
"We created a way to educate the public on the rich history of brands in town," Grattidge said, adding iconic brands from Alberta are also being referenced.
Stockmen's Branding Bingo will run next week from June 8 to 12. Hard copy bingo cards will be available for pickup at TWO Pharmacy or if you are more technology-driven you can email Stockmen's at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will send a virtual bingo card your way. On Monday (June 8) the fun begins as participants are asked to tune into Cochrane's radio station, 91.5 FM Cochrane Now at 8:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. throughout the week. Three brands will be called out at each time with the likelihood of four being called on the final days.
"The radio host will list the brand, read it how it is properly read so people learn how to read a brand and then there's a little history on it," Grattidge said.
He added if anyone misses any of the radio calls or are confused with the symbols they can go to the FCSS website at cochrane.ca/bingo or Stockmen's website at smflibrary.ca/ca to find them.
If an individual gets a bingo they are asked to promptly call Stockmen's at 403-932-3782 as there can be more than one winner. Your card number will also need to be verified.
"The company I used to create the bingo card allows me to tell if they're lying or not," Grattidge chuckled.
And of course, it wouldn't be a proper bingo game without winnings.
"The first person to call in with a line of five, the first person to call in with an X, the first person to call with an upright H, the whole outside square, and then the grand prize is for the blackout," Grattidge said.
Grattidge explained prizes have been provided from local vendors in Town including Tony's Work and Western Wear, TWO Pharmacy, Anything Grows Cochrane Garden Store, Kitchen Boutique, Great Things in Store and Guy's Cafe and Bakery.
Although Stockmen's Branding Bingo is targeted at seniors, Grattidge said anyone can play, joking he will not be checking ID's.
"It's a way to connect to our history and celebrate seniors' and pioneers' all at the same time, and something that people can enjoy and have some fun doing and hopefully take their mind off COVID a little bit."