Sarnia Seniors Cruise seeks a helping hand

The event has been powered by volunteers for nearly 40 years

This year’s Sarnia Seniors Cruise is on Monday, June 26th, and organizers are seeking volunteers and donations for the 39th annual cruise aboard the Duc d’Orleans II which charms as many as 2,000 passengers.

The cruise has been powered by volunteers since its start when the late broadcaster and community advocate Peter Henderson wanted to give people in Sarnia the chance to see their city from the water.

There will be multiple cruises with trips setting sail at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3 p.m.

At least 5 cruises aboard the Duc d’Orleans II will be offered on Monday, June 26th.

After the cruise, everyone is invited for lunch and refreshments at the riverside.

Ticket prices have stayed the same since the beginning – free – and become available 8 a.m. the day of the cruise, however, organizer Marni Thomas warned last year all the tickets were gone by 9:30 a.m.

Steeves and Rozema will be providing grilled hot dogs for lunch, but other food and beverage donations such as cans of pop and bottled water are gladly accepted.

“If people want to go somewhere and have fruit and vegetable trays made up they can do that and we’ll pick it up the day of the cruise,” said Thomas, noting all food donations must be prepared in a Lambton DineSafe registered kitchen.

Financial donations are also being sought to help cover expenses like insurance, which alone cost well over $1,000, said Thomas.

Community help publicizing the event is also appreciated. It’s helpful if signs, storefronts, church bulletins, and newsletters mention the date and location of the cruise, Thomas said.

The cruise is truly a community event. Thomas explained, the city of Sarnia is providing tables and chairs, multiple supporters help with tents, firemen assist people on and off the ship, and the Duc provides the cruises free of charge.

Thomas has helped organize the cruise since the 1980s and said her favourite part is: “Watching it come together and seeing people’s faces after the cruise. It’s just like a chess game, solving a problem here and there and watching it work on the day of.”

Donations can be sent to S.H.A.R.E, P.O. Box 782, Sarnia, ON N7T 7J9 and for more information or to volunteer call 519-344-1763 ext. 306.

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