Community

New charity aimed at seniors

Hanson Lau unveiled Wednesday a new charity for seniors, Happy Life Network Association. He’s joined on the association’s board by honourary life president Claude Tchao (centre) and treasurer Luciela Wong (right). - Martin van den Hemel photo
Hanson Lau unveiled Wednesday a new charity for seniors, Happy Life Network Association. He’s joined on the association’s board by honourary life president Claude Tchao (centre) and treasurer Luciela Wong (right).
— image credit: Martin van den Hemel photo

He’s about to join their ranks, so community activist and travel agency owner Hanson Lau thought what better group to fundraise for than seniors.

On Wednesday, Lau revealed he’s helped form a new non-profit organization called Happy Life Network Association, which couldn’t be more aptly named.

He wants to educate retired seniors—Lau plans to semi-retire next year—about how to stay physically and mentally healthy by providing courses, seminars and workshops for them. Seeing the experience and knowledge that seniors have as an untapped resource, Lau wants to provide volunteer opportunities for retired seniors to enhance their self-value and expand their social network.

There’s no lack of support for the organization’s primary cause, judging from the number of tickets sold to its first major fundraiser.

The association’s inaugural gala dinner, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Continental Seafood Restaurant, had already sold 400 tickets even before Lau unveiled the charity this week.

“These retirees have lots of experience that the community can share and we want to facilitate that,” Lau said.

While Richmond has an amazing number of services and groups in place for seniors, Lau said many retired Chinese seniors don’t participate, either because of language concerns, or simply not knowing how amazing these programs are.

Lau wants to lead these seniors to participate more fully in the city’s programming, while offering other social networking opportunities as well.

“We like eating,” Lau said of the Chinese community. He sees the opportunity to have regular smaller-scale dinner parties and gatherings for seniors to facilitate social networking.

Lau would also like to work with the local Chinese mental health association, to deal with issues around seniors like depression.

“One of the ambitions I have is to try and develop a senior citizens village,” he said, adding that it would include homes for seniors, as well as younger families.

For more information about the association, e-mail hansonlau@hansontravel.ca.

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