It is National Volunteer Week across Canada and the celebrations come just in time for the area’s Citizen of the Year announcements.
Barbara Gibson from Sanctuary, the United Way, the Trail and District Public Library board and more, was chosen on Monday as the 2015 Trail/Warfield Citizen of the Year for her work in the community and encourages everyone to do their part and help out where they can. She says the gratifications come from helping someone for nothing in return.
“I think that the reward from volunteering is that you know that you make a difference,” she said. “You may never get that actual pat on the back, no one may say that you made a difference, but you did. I think that is the most important thing. You can make a difference. Bring your skills and gifts to the tables and use them for your community.”
There are plenty of volunteer opportunities in the Lower Columbia Region and Brian Volpatti, a member of the Trail/Warfield Citizen of the Year committee, says volunteering is about sacrificing time and effort to make the community a better place, and you may not even know who they are.
“There are so many volunteers in Trail and Warfield and some of them are visible, but many stay behind-the-scenes and do just as much work,” he said, adding that it is the dedicated volunteers, like Gibson, that are considered for the annual recognition. “They spend a lot of time helping others.”
Grace Terness, along with the Beaver Valley Citizen of the Year committee, will be sitting down on Monday afternoon to take a look at the nominations they have received over the last few weeks.
“We will be having our meeting to decide who the recipients will be on Monday,” she said, adding that even someone nominated last year can still be considered for the award honouring volunteerism. The value of a volunteer doesn’t go away. “Just because someone wasn’t pick the year before doesn’t mean they didn’t deserve it. We carry the nominations forward and I am looking forward to it.”
Last year’s Beaver Valley Citizen of the Year Award was given to Ed Wilcox for his work at the Beaver Valley Curling Club, at Champion Lakes Golf Club and at McInnes Park. At the time of his win, Wilcox said he was inspired to put in the hours by those who came before him.
“That’s probably what got me going, when I was a kid going to the ballpark there was always some guys that worked in the ballpark and made it into a nice park so we could play on it,” he said.
To find out about volunteer opportunities in the Trail and Beaver Valley areas, visit www.volunteerrkootenays.ca.