Skip to content

Zooming into the city

National club for the over 45s kicks off new Richmond chapter with fun-filled Valentine's night
Four members of CARP Richmond’s board, Becky Herrmann, Stephen Cheung (left), Patrick Von Pander (rear) and Dr. Victor Pauls, enjoy an early morning walk on the middle arm dyke of the Fraser River. The board has a mission to connect Richmond’s over-45 community with each other in a bid to get the most out of life.

They're motivated, mobilized, loving life and urging you to join them.

They are the newly-formed Richmond chapter of CARP, a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to, in its words, a "new vision of aging."

Their collective name, especially when standing too close together for any length of time, is Zoomers (baby boomers with zip.) But don't for a second assume they're just a bunch of seniors, looking to pass the time of day in the twilight of their years.

On the contrary, they're a passionate platoon of successful and well-educated men and women - some retired, some semi-retired, some still working full-time.

And they're training their sights on making a difference in the lives of over 45s who've graduated to the second semester of their life, targeting all ethnicities, ages and personalities.

"When some people retire or get disconnected with their purpose or their role, they lose part of their identity," said CARP Richmond's chair Dr. Victor Pauls, who retired as a dentist some 15 years ago and is father of four and granddad to nine.

"Perhaps their children have grown up and left home and they're thinking, 'now what? "Richmond has a large community of people aged 45 plus that are interested in getting the best out of this part of their lives and we're looking to create connections to make that happen.

"We're looking for like-minded people with similar philosophies to life and hoping to form relationships across a wide spectrum."

CARP's mission, for those unaware of its work, is to enhance the quality of life for all Canadians as they age by:. Advocating for social change that will bring financial security and access to health care;. Ensuring the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of that generation;. Building a sense of community and shared values among members.

The Richmond chapter now has a strong core in a wellorganized and committed board, something that's taken around nine months to pull together, due to the time commitment required to serve.

But it's going to be worth it, according to board member, Patrick Von Pander, a corporate and personal life coach.

"There's a vacuum out there for many people and we have a vision and a mission to create an environment where people can reconnect with their purpose," said Von Pander.

"We're going to have physical activities, speakers woven into live events with entertainment and workshops.

"There's going to be at least one or two opportunities each month, with day and evening events.

"We'll be trying to keep them topical, but there will be a mix of different things to play to different personalities."

Von Pander's confident that the "more people that get involved, the greater the experience will be and they'll tell their friends and so on."

The board already has access to the 980 national CARP members that live in Richmond and Delta and it's hoping some of them will come out to the chapter's big launch night, a Valentine Party at the Trinity Lutheran Church on Granville Avenue on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

"We want to reach out to them and invite them to get involved with us and our activities," added Pauls.

Other board members and Richmondites include: Becky Herrmann, a fundraising executive who was the catalyst for bringing the chapter together; Susan Peters, the board's secretary/treasurer and a retired high school counselor, who lives in the South Arm area; Stephen Cheung, 57, the board's vice-chair and a financial investment manager who's been "enjoying life, traveling the world," but now wants to be the intercultural bridge between CARP's Richmond chapter and the Asian community.

Sensitive to the fact there are other seniors' advocacy and networking groups out there, Pauls said CARP Richmond will be careful not to step on anyone's toes.

"We don't want to duplicate any services or take over from anyone," said Pauls.

"We can work with them and fill any voids that are out there. And we can even refer people to other groups if that helps them.

"We have a really strong core for a board and we're looking forward to making things happen in Richmond."

CARP Richmond's launch night includes an appearance by public speaker and entertainer David C. Powell, '50s, '60s and '70s music from Kelvin and Darleen Ketchum, a light dinner and lots of door prizes.

Tickets are priced $15 (early bird) and $20 (at the door). Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the activities kicking off at 7 p.m. If you're interested in a ticket, log onto or if you want to join the group, call 1-800-363-9736 (toll free) or go to

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks