National Volunteer Week from April 23 to 29 is an opportunity to celebrate and thank the people in our community who quietly donate their time and energy to causes that are often vital to our day-to-day lives.
Right here in Cariboo-Chilcotin, it never ceases to amaze me just how much people do to make this a better place for all.
Even more amazing is witnessing first-hand how many of these volunteers have had to radically alter their fundraising efforts just to comply with all the COVID-19 restrictions and health orders. And I have no doubt this will become even more complicated starting this Friday, as further restrictions from Dr. Bonnie Henry come into effect.
Take for example the Williams Lake Stampede’s Royalty Director, Chantelle Wessels, who is proceeding with the annual tradition even though the actual stampede event has been cancelled this year.
Chantelle was herself one of the Williams Lake Stampede Princesses, so she knows just how important the experience is for our community – and especially for the young women who take part.
Last weekend I was also deeply impressed with the tremendous level of public support for a Rotary-sponsored event in cooperation with CJ’s Southwestern Grill that saw more than hundred meals sold in support of the Starfish Food for Kids program.
The volunteers behind these kinds of events – and the enormous public support for their efforts during pandemic – speak to the very heart of our community.
We also have to thank all of the people behind the Cariboo-Chilcotin Partners for Literacy Society. These community members are committed to promoting literacy through awareness, advocacy and by initiating and supporting learning opportunities in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.
These are just a few examples, and despite all the challenges we face in terms of floods, wildfires and now the pandemic, we should take a moment to be thankful for the volunteers behind the scenes.
Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.