A tall, flat rock emblazoned with the Kiwanis logo and bearing a bronze plaque reminds passersby of a project that redefined seniors’ housing in Alberta and across Canada.
Six decades have passed since Red Deer’s newly formed Kiwanis Club started looking into the ways of providing affordable housing for aging couples.
Facing east toward Kin Kanyon from the lawn of Centennial Kiwanis Court, the plaque and monument recall how the Kiwanis Club formed the Twilight Foundation to raise money for the apartment complex it would help build and manage.
It was the first project of its kind in Alberta and likely the first of its kind in Canada, said Red Deer historian Michael Dawe.
Earlier this week, Red Deer Mayor Morris Flewwelling joined Kiwanis members in renaming to Kiwanis Seniors’ Village the block of senior-friendly apartment cottages that sprang from the foundations, both financial and physical, that were first laid in the 1950s.
“We wanted to recognize and pay tribute to those who saw the need for seniors housing in the early 1950s and kept that vision going until 2008, when Piper Creek Foundation took over responsibility for seniors’ housings,” Flewwelling said during the ceremonies.
At the time that Piper Creek took over management of the property, the Twilight Foundation had managed 354 units. While the Twilight Foundation has handed over the reins at Kiwanis Village, it continues to operate as a charitable foundation, raising funds and providing support for local seniors’ projects and other causes.