Smoky River Family and Community Support Services – In Focus
Friends of the Smoky River Transportation Society
Smoky River Community Transportation Program; more than just a seniors’ bus, more than just a medical trip bus, more than just a wheel chair accessible bus – much, much more!
The Smoky River Community Transportation is now in the 12th year of operating and is unique to the Smoky River region. The program, administered by Smoky River FCSS, is funded through user fees and the generosity of our five municipalities – the M.D. of Smoky River No. 130, the Towns of Falher and McLennan as well as the Villages of Donnelly and Girouxville. The program originated to provide access to doctors and specialists in the larger centres and has evolved into a program that encourages social visits to family and friends for all.
As indicated previously, the Smoky River Transportation Program is unique to our region and is funded by the five municipalities who contribute dollars from their own operating funds so that the residents of their communities can have access to doctors and families outside of the region.
However, as we all know, costs keep going up for everything. So, recently several people got together and formed a society, the Friends of the Smoky River Transportation Society, in an effort to help raise funds to keep the transportation program viable. This program is very important not only to help older persons’ age in place but also for younger people who need to get about.
Who can ride? Residents of the Smoky River region can all access the van for trips to Peace River and Grande Prairie as well as special trips such as the one to Valleyview recently for the Medieval Faire and Feast or the upcoming trip to Slave Lake for a night of country music entertainment. The van is also utilized by the FCSS Summer Youth Program participants for trips around the region as well as weekly trips for swimming as well as a day in Winagami. In addition, the smaller van is used for hospital runs by persons unable to travel in a normal vehicle. The van can also be rented by individuals or families for wheelchair bound persons wanting to attend family functions.
Currently, the service provides two scheduled trips a month to Grande Prairie, one trip a month to Peace River and beginning in October, we will provide one trip a month to Slave Lake. And we want to continue to expand the program to make it as user friendly as possible. This means we need additional funds, so Friends of the Smoky River Transportation Society and FCSS are hosting a combined FCSS Day!/Wine ‘n Cheese/Juried Art Show on October 20 at the Club Alouette in Falher. Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming ad in the Smoky River Express.
We hope to see as many people as possible out to this event to help keep our unique transportation program alive. And don’t forget our motto “use it or lose it” and call to book your seat for our next trip.
If you would like to receive the three-month schedule of up and coming trips with the Smoky River Community Program bus, contact the office at (780) 837-2220, to add you to our mailing list. Or like us on Facebook for up to date postings of current trips available.