PAST PRESIDENTS OF THE SNOWBIRDS
1997-1998 Ena Nichole
1998 - 2001 Roland Bilben
2001-2003 Jim Garside
2003-2010 Karen Nordgaard
2010 - 2016 Ernie Shewchuk
2016-2017 Fred Smith
2017 - Present Brian Hodgkins
What began as a gathering of friends for coffee, usually at the home of Ena and Eric Nichol, evolved in early 1985 into a regular social get together. As the group grew, so did an interest in forming a Senior's Club. In 1987 application was made for incorporation under the name of The Bragg Creek Snowbirds Fellowship with Ena Nichol as the first President. Incorporation was granted in November 1988.
A ten year agreement with the Bragg Creek Community Association along with a working agreement with the Bragg Creek Church provided space for the new club in the form of the "old lounge". Funding through Grants and Donations allowed remodelling and equipping the lounge to meet the needs of the club. The Nichol home continued to host activities such as pool parties and barbecues while other members opened their homes for summer picnics. Many activities were initiated over the next several years and the membership of 35-40, along with the Bragg Creek Ladies Auxillary provided a strong support group for the Community Association. Some of the seniors were responsible for the construction of the tennis courts in the Nichol Memorial Park.
The fire of September 13, 1998 which destroyed the Bragg Creek Community Centre, set the club on a new course when it was decided its needs would be better served with a building of its own. Fundraising began with one of the more memorable undertakings by our members when the largest garage sale ever held in this area took place at the Bishop Ranch arena. The more than $13,000 netted became seed money for construction of our club house - the goal was now a little closer.
Thought, experience and care went into the design of the Chalet along with over 5,000 hours of volunteer labour by members. Through integrity and strong Community support a debt free club house was realized within a framework of three years. The grand opening of the Chalet was held September 23, 2001.
Opportunities for socializing at the club are many and varied. Pot Luck suppers, barbecues, Ballard and pool games, bridge, crib and horse shoes, the list is long.
A group of ladies called the Yarn Burners knit beautiful socks, mitts and other fun and useful items which are given to people in need. To date (2010) 900 toques were knitted and given to Rockyview General Hospital maternity ward.
People in need of rides are driven to medical appointments in Calgary or Cochrane.
The Snowbirds generally have a prize winning float in the Bragg Creek Day's parade.
The Chalet is available for: rentals, meetings, weddings, church services, staff development days, celebrations of life, birthday parties, yoga classes and many other functions.
Community involvement is an important part of our mandate. Members participate in fund raising, consisting mainly of working at casino's, Calaway Park, selling used books, hosting soup and dessert at the chalet once a month, and construction of the playground at Nichol Park; participating in providing Christmas stockings for Camp Horizon; assisted with the 2004 Trans Rockies Challenge. Grants are received from the Rocky View County.
As a registered charitable organization, BCSSF each year makes substantial donations to local service organizations.
Membership in Bragg Creek Snowbirds Seniors Fellowship is open to residents of Bragg Creek and surrounding area, who are 50 years of age or older. Membership dues are $15/person/year.
2020 we currently have about 130 members.