For over eight years, long-time resident Bill Gibbons has been pushing for a new seniors centre in downtown Cochrane.

He's encouraging residents and sponsors to get involved with the Mayor's Invitational charity golf tournament, designed to raise money to get the ball rolling on a 5th Ave. multi-purpose community centre.

Gibbons, 78, says two things, in particular, drew his attention to the need for a new and larger location than the current Seniors on the Bow (SOTB), located in the back of the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre on the second floor.

"The first kicker was when male membership at Seniors on the Bow went down to 24 per cent. Men love games, and we needed a games room with multiple activities."

He believes that should be coupled with more programming between 7 and 9 p.m. for working seniors, whom he says account for only three per cent of the SOTB membership.

The need for easier access hit home when a friend's wife was worn out from simply reaching SOTB. In the end, they joined the Springbank Heritage Club.

Without a doubt, he says a central, ground-floor seniors centre is the answer.

"It has many advantages, including ground floor entry, no more stairs to the second floor or long hallways to navigate for our aging and vulnerable seniors."

It's also close to stores, banks, and medical offices.

Gibbons has been encouraging the inclusion of a games room that would accommodate many leisurely activities. He has prepared a proposed floor plan for a 57'x45' games room that would include billiards, skee ball, basketball, darts, golf simulator room, and floor shuffleboard.

"The new senior centre will benefit the whole community, so let's get it done and support our mayor's invitational golf tournament because sooner or later we'll all be seniors."

The Mayor's Invitational is being held at the Links of the GlenEagles on July 26.