On Thursday evening (Oct 18) the City and Community Futures arranged for an event at gallery 2 where they handed out some awards to volunteers.
In the fall the City and Community give out volunteer appreciation and small business awards. This year so many businesses are still affected by the spring flooding that this part of the ceremony was suspended. But the Volunteer Appreciation awards still went ahead.
This year two awards were handed out
The Outstanding Community Service Award was given to Gabe and Rachel Warriner for their tireless efforts during our flood emergency. Before the flood had showed up Gabe was out behind the arena getting his system for bagging in place. His team researched how to do the filling more efficiently and constructed jigs to make it quick and easy. For many days around flooding Gabe was not only filling bags, He was managing the growing army of volunteers. Filling bags was just part of the job – people also came out to place bags, transport them, feed and support those who were doing the labour. Plus dealing with the media, and support requests out of the cellphone in his pocket.
All this didn’t stop with the end of the flood – people were sill in need of support and both Gabe and Rachel have kept busy providing that support. Whether it’s assistance with finding and filing forms for financial support or collecting and organizing needed replacement clothing, furniture and appliance they have been very active doing the best they can for their community.
The Volunteer of the Year award was given to Les Johnson for all the video coverage of city council and events in the city. That’s me and I’m very happy that my efforts have been officially recognized by the City.
But . . . as I say in my remarks I feel there are a lot of people who do a lot more than myself and don’t get this kind of recognition. Because of what I do I’m often in front of the camera so a lot of people see me. They also see me at events. They see me so much they get the impression I’m everywhere covering everything and no one can do that or live up to that expectation. Many people do so many things without being continually highlighted by being in front of a camera.
Look at the Volunteer Firefighters – they put in a lot of effort and get a lot of training and all that take a lot of time. They are engaged in dangerous activities to help protect their friends and neighbours. For no pay.
Look at the Search and Rescue volunteers. They also put in long hours getting trained so they can go out and help people out of dangerous situations. And they do not get paid.
During the flood this spring flooding disaster members of both these groups helped out in dire times of need.
These are the true outstanding community volunteers. And there are more I haven’t mentioned.