After 65-years of marriage, Ron and Lois Byers are as in love today as they were when they first met at Emmanuel Bible College in Kitchener.

“Ron came to college engaged, but he said, ‘that wasn’t the right one,’ and somehow I won his heart,” Lois said.

“She’s been the right one ever since,” Ron added.

Their 65th wedding anniversary is coming this June and they couldn’t be happier to have shared a life.

Because they put themselves through school, Ron and Lois didn’t have money for extravagant dates in the early days of their romance. Fortunately, Ron had his own car and used to drive Lois everywhere.

On their favourite outings, Ron would pick Lois up, drive to the country, and pull over to the side of  the road to study.

Eventually, Ron proposed to Lois on one of those dusty roads.

“At first, Lois thought I was kidding,” Ron said. “But we soon set the date to get married.”

When they graduated, the couple spent many years pastoring locally and overseas. During that time, they were delighted to welcome a son and daughter. Ron and Lois retired just five years ago, eventually making their way back to Kitchener to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

Now in their 80’s, the couple are focusing on their health to ensure they can stay together in the home they love.

They have been attending free, SMART™ (Seniors Maintaining Active Roles Together) group gentle exercise classes in their apartment building for the last four years, just one of five exercise options for seniors and adults with disabilities offered by Community Support Connections – Meals on Wheels and More (CSC).

“I think in the long run, exercise will help me to walk and not have some of the falls a lot of people have. Anyone who takes it in the long run will find they get more mobility,” Ron said.

CSC works alongside more than 600 volunteers to help over 7,500 people live at home with independence and dignity.

Each year, the agency celebrates Valentine’s Day by sharing a love story and this one couldn’t get any sweeter.

“Valentine’s Day is a favourite time of year,” Will Pace, Executive Director of CSC, said. “It reminds us of the important work our volunteers, donors, and supporters are doing to help thousands of people, including hundreds of couples like Ron and Lois, stay together in their own homes.”

As the population ages, demand for CSC’s programs and services continues to grow. Often with just a few simple supports, couples like Ron and Lois are able to stay in the home they love and avoid unnecessary hospital stays or premature admittance into a long-term care facility.

“It would make all the difference in the world to me if I were not living in this home. To me, this set up here is making life worth living,” Ron said.

Physical health is a main area of focus for CSC, and the agency hopes stories like this one will inspire others to give back to the people who helped shape our community.

CSC relies on more than 1,300 volunteers, donors and supporters to help over 7,500 clients live at home with independence and dignity.

All of CSC’s programs and services fall under nutrition, physical health, social wellbeing, and aging at home, which includes homemaking and home maintenance. Last year, participants attended over 101,000 exercise classes and Stand Up to Falls sessions, preventing over 2,000 falls thereby keeping people healthy and mobile in their own homes.

“We are actively recruiting volunteers to instruct exercise classes, deliver meals, or drive clients to important medical appointments and the grocery store,” Pace said. “We offer many flexible volunteer opportunities and can accommodate a variety of schedules.”

If you would like to volunteer or donate to CSC, please call 519-772-8787 or visit www.cscmow.org.

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