The Early-Bird Gets the Prize

It’s Friday morning 9:15am. The members gather at the food court tables and reset their pedometers to zero. 9:30am… mall lights flick on… the sound of shop gates BUST OPEN and suddenly, THEY’RE OFF! Walkers, wheelchairs and grocery carts squeal and crash through the mall. Leading the charge heading toward the east end of Capilano Mall is artiste extraordinaire, Jo Anthony, followed by a teal streak of light AKA, Janet Coons, trailing closely behind. Irene Shears pushes her grocery cart, flanking and overcoming Dorothy McKay and Mary Thorndycraft, but don’t under estimate their ability to rally back… they kick butts! The Fast and Furious Five, rush by the lottery counter leaving a whirlwind of dust circling through the air like a cyclone.

You may ask, where are they going? What’s the urgency? What are you, perhaps, missing out on? My friends… they are on a weekly hunt for the elusive DOLLAR TREE RAISIN BREAD. It’s popular, it’s rare and if you don’t get there early enough, IT’S GONE. Early-birds rifle through bread racks in the isle like Black Friday Shoppers at a Door Crash Sale event – leaving bread crumbs in their wake. Paying $5.00 for raisin bread at Walmart JUST AIN’T WORTH IT to these savvy shoppers, because the Dollar Tree offers it for the low, low price of only a DOLLAR TWENTY-FIVE! Hence, its popularity and rarity.

The Mall Walk Program at Capilano Mall, is operated by March of Dimes Canada every Friday from 9:15am-12pm. With all joking aside, no actual race ever takes place and the Black Friday melee doesn’t happen. Rather, the Mall Walk is a friendly and fun walking group program designed to help survivors of stroke stay active, recover and reintegrate into the community. Members are given pedometers to track their steps as they walk at their own pace at a safe distance and in a safe, monitored environment. Members set personal goals on their individual walks and participate in other daily activities.

Amyn Sunderji changes gears from walking laps around the mall, to enjoying an indulgent massage, manicure and pedicure underneath the palm fronds at the TJ Nail Spa. Fresh from the barber shop and looking like a silver-fox, Wolfgang England sports a new cut as he and dedicated volunteer Paul Xu carefully walk to Walmart. Local fashionista Kathy Moen, checks out the latest couture styles at Northern Reflections while Dennis Joseph kicks back and enjoys a cup-a-joe in front of Starbucks. Janet Moore grips her trekking poles and marches on with determination after tackling 3 flights of stairs with always-smiling volunteer, Ann Kim. And finally, Liza Capila Maramot gently helps Gulzar Verjee from her wheelchair and encourages her to walk a comfortable distance.

At 11:00am, members return to the food court for snacks and conversation. The morning excursion amasses 20 TONS of groceries piled on walkers, jars of pickles, ladies tights, greeting cards, art supplies, Voortman cookies and of course, RAISIN BREAD. The program ends with pedometer steps logged and errands out of the way. It’s always a satisfyingly good time. Come join us on a Mall Walk!

Contact Sue Carabetta or Karen Mah for more details.

~ Karen Mah