How often can one community event prove to be such a perfect opportunity to a totally unrelated one?
How often can that one event return the favour to another totally unrelated group?
How often can a letter from a person, who spent some disappointing formative years in Trail, raise a point that can be addressed somewhat from both of those events?
Perhaps but it’s possible. Here’s a thought.
A few weeks ago the Trail Times received a letter to the editor from a young woman. She grew up in Trail but felt ostracized and criticized, especially from the city’s older citizens, for being different. Her feeling was that there’s a portion of youth in Trail who feel disconnected with older people because of the traditional stereotypes.
Hold that thought.
The B.C. Seniors Games are coming to Trail, as well as Castlegar and Nelson, in August, and the call for volunteers has been load and clear. There’s a lot of work to do and help needed. Some of it not so glamorous but work that needs to be done.
Trail is known for its volunteer effort so there’s no doubt the call will be answered – more or less. But the core of volunteers, the ones I run into at every burger stand, charity walk and bake sale, can’t answer the bell forever.
And these Games are big, number-wise, event-wise and effort-wise. The Games will no doubt bring a business boom locally leading up to, during and after the flame has extinguished.
To understand the Games’ impact in one single way consider this. Trail hosted the 2006 B.C. Winter Games. The event earned the organizing committee a large financial legacy, which it used to help the LeRoi Foundation flourish.
That type of contribution has allowed the Foundation to give out thousands of dollars in funds to help the community.
Any profits from the B.C. Seniors Games, at least Trail’s share, could end up with the Foundation. Granted the event probably won’t generate a financial legacy like the Winter Games but there is a possibility that some cash will be left over.
It also doesn’t mean that any surplus cash is earmarked for the LeRoi Foundation but for the sake of argument let’s hope a portion is.
And if there’s a group that might be lobbying the LeRoi Foundation in the near future for some financial support it could very well be Trail’s skate park committee.
The young people involved in the project have been a dedicated group, which has learned the ropes of logistics; lobbying and laying out a plan that city planners could chew on.
They learned perseverance, commitment and organizational skills and it has paid off with the green light to move ahead on their sought-after project.
So kudos to that group.
But here’s an opportunity to take it all to another level.
The sport and facility is expected to provide an outlet for another segment of young local citizens. And here’s hoping they embrace the commitment the city and other groups are going to make on their behalf.
With that in mind the BC Seniors Games opens a door to a link to a bridge that might help some solve issues that run much deeper than the need for extra help or extra cash.
Imagine the skate community rallying its members through the social media. The call goes out to volunteer, even if it’s for a couple of hours, during the B.C. Seniors Games.
Imagine a response filled with young people who want interact with older citizens from around the province. They would showcase the spirit, friendliness and diversity of young people in the Home of Champions. They don’t have to be ambassadors, just be courteous.
Imagine the response from visitors, and locals, when they see that the volunteer spirit isn’t limited to one section or age demographic of Trail.
Of course the perfect ending to this story, and it’s not necessarily a fairy tale, is that display of community effort and support isn’t overlooked.
The perfect ending would see a tidy profit returned to each host community and in Trail’s case, perhaps something like the Foundation.
Then that same youth committee, that sparked the response of volunteers, applies for and receives a grant towards the construction of its park.
How wonderfully fitting it would be to see the skate park funded, in part, from the city’s role in hosting the B.C. Seniors Games.
Young helping old. Old helping young. It all seems so circularly simple.
It might not wipe away all the stereotypes towards either generation but in a “best-case scenario” it’s hard to imagine a better ending or a better start.