Walk to benefit senior center moves to spring

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 24, 2018

 Julie and Anders Lungberg take to the sidewalks at last year’s Compassion Walk to benefit services at the Bloomfield Township Senior Center.

Julie and Anders Lungberg take to the sidewalks at last year’s Compassion Walk to benefit services at the Bloomfield Township Senior Center.

Photo provided by Christine Tvaroha, of the Bloomfield Township Senior Center


BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Last September, 90 folks of all ages took to the safety paths that wrap around the township campus.

And they ran into some trouble.

“They were out there giving us tickets while we were walking. They gave us a ticket if we smiled too much, if we were having too much fun or if our outfits were mismatched,” said resident Anders Lundberg.

Of course, there were no court dates or fines. It was all in good fun at the first annual 5K Active Compassion Walk to benefit services through the Bloomfield Township Senior Center, and they’re doing it again next month to raise more funds for the township’s Meals on Wheels program and the Friendship Adult Day Service.

Participants of all ages are invited to participate in the 3.1-mile walk around the township campus on the paved safety paths, which don’t cross major roads. The $25 admission cost includes a T-shirt and the satisfaction of knowing you’re supporting programs that are “life sustaining” for so many families, according to Denise Kolkmeyer, outreach coordinator for the senior center.

“The adult day care for those suffering with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia not only gives respite care for the individuals suffering from the disease, but it helps the families of that person,” she explained. “They can leave (their loved one) here for half a day or a day, and they can go out and have some kind of time without having to worry about caregiving for a while.”

Christine Tvaroha, director of senior services, said last year’s event raised about $2,400. But the real value came from spreading the word about the vital resources the senior center offers — and of course, giving families a chance to spend time outdoors together.

“The fact that more people heard about Friendship Circle and learned what an adult day service means, that’s just as important as money. Building awareness is huge,” Tvaroha said of the program that serves as a supervised day of art, music and activities for seniors with memory issues.

Lundberg, who serves as an office assistant at the senior center, said he and his wife signed up for the walk last year with the intention of doing all five laps around the campus. But it was such a beautiful day, they decided to go for 10.

“It was nice getting out with her, away from the computer and her job, to walk with everybody,” he said.

Registration is currently underway for the 5K, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 12. Pre-registration is required for those 12 and older. Participants can sign up on-site the day of the walk, but T-shirts will only be available as supplies last.

For more information or to register for the walk, call (248) 723-3500 or visit bloomfieldseniors.org.