Tag Archives: volunteer

2018 Volunteer Appreciation Awards

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.

 

Local Volunteers Recognized with Sovereign’s Medal For Volunteers

An event on the steps at the north entrance to City Hall n the morning of July 19, 2017 took place to celebrate the awarding of the Sovereign’s Medal For Volunteers to two long time local volunteers: Lorraine Dick and Chris Moslin

On hand were MP Richard Cannings, Mayor Konrad, a number of city councilors and an appreciative crowd of supporters.

Moslin, a former teacher and city councilor, was lauded for being instrumental in the Rails to Trails project since the beginning. Dick who has volunteered in various roles and projects over the years was singled out for the volunteer income tax preparation program.

32nd Community Christmas Dinner

Did you have a nice Christmas? Get the day off? Get lots to eat? Enjoy all of that in the company of family and friends? That’s good – these are what we hope for in this holiday season … but reality doesn’t always give us what we want or desire. Not everyone has the day off work; not everyone has family and friends to share it with.

For 32 years a group of people in this town have been working to help bring some of that essential Christmas Spirit alive for those whose situations prevent them from participating in the Christmas feast. We’re talking about the Community Christmas Dinner.

In talking with George Longden about this event I learned a lot I didn’t know. George is coordinator this year but he has been a volunteer for 22 years. He sees this as one of those opportunities to help his community – to serve the public. And that’s the best thing you can do in his eyes.

Each year the core group of a dozen volunteers starts working in November to pull off an event that lasts less than a day. With incredible support from individuals and businesses they raise thousands of dollars ($4,000 this year) and more volunteers (the numbers swelled to nearly 60 this year). Food preparation, logistics, promotion, coordination – all this is well underway by the time they begin the final stage at 9AM of Christmas Eve in the Gospel Chapel. It has to be – the doors open at Noon and everything is cleaned and put away 5 hours after that!

This year they used every chair in the house – filling the main hall and spilling over to 40 more in the foyer and 30 in the sanctuary area. The numbers tell a story: 60 volunteers working with 16 turkeys, 10 hams and 150 lbs of potatoes served up 425 meals – the most they have ever done! 60 of those were take-outs delivered to working members of essential public services such as the Border Services, Ambulance and RCMP. And a meal for anyone held in detention by them as well.

I got there about a half hour after it started and the first thing I noticed was: all the parking spots in and near the chapel were taken. When I got in I could hear the hall before I entered:  a general hubbub of people conversing with their neighbours, friends and table mates. Once inside I saw a large room full of people just getting their meals. Lots of smiling faces.

The best part of all of this: It’s free for those who eat and a big helping of spiritual nourishment for everyone who participates on either side of the table. Aside from feeding the soul they also get to dine on a full menu of turkey, ham, potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, and turnips garnished with cranberry sauce gravy and stuffing, all purchased locally. They also offered vegetarian entrees and a full line of pies, cakes and cookies for dessert.

Thanks to George Longden, Paula Wolkosky, Bev Vatkin, Cherylle and Rod Smuland (in the kitchen), Dave Watts (Santa) and all the other volunteers for making this event such as successful part of our Community.