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Niagara Falls
Friday, September 29, 2023
NOTL’s Strawberry Social welcomed back this year by hundreds
There were 286 people who registered for the popular Strawberry Social lunch at the Community Centre last week. (Somer Slobodian)

A little more than 280 people were at the NOTL Community Centre last Thursday for the return of the annual Strawberry Social luncheon.

It was the first fully in-person Strawberry Social since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

It’s a nice way to “stay connected to the community,” said Heather Henry, who was there with her mom, Mary Williams, and aunt, Florence Mearns. 

“It’s quite nice. I enjoy it,” Mearnes said.

Seniors over the age of 65 attended the social afternoon to chat, see old friends and enjoy some delicious food — and of course, strawberries. 

The Strawberry Social has been running for about 24 years, and Henry’s aunt, Mearns, said she’s been coming since the beginning. 

She said she used to volunteer, and now it’s something she looks forward to every year.

“It’s just exciting for everyone to be back in person. The seniors really love the event, and they look forward to it,” said Marah Minor, the Town’s spokesperson.

Many there agreed that community functions like the Strawberry Social are a great way to get people together.

“I think social connections are really valuable and people have come to be even more aware of that because of the pandemic,” said Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa.

Zalepa, along with other council members, members of staff and even MPP Wayne Gates were running around the room topping up drinks and replenishing empty salad bowls.

Minor said staff also delivered strawberry tarts to Niagara-on-the-Lake’s three long-term care homes.

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