The love for her community is what keeps Miranda Doerkson coming back to volunteer at the Williams Lake Stampede year after year.
For years now, Miranda has volunteered her time and energy come Stampede weekend to Williams Lake’s annual event.
Her efforts have not gone unnoticed as she has been named the Youth Volunteer of the Year for 2019 by the Williams Lake Stampede Association.
Miranda is a second year nursing student, studying at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George, which she said she absolutely loves. When she becomes a full nurse she hopes to return to Williams Lake to better serve the community she loves and grew up in.
“I like the community because my dad always had me involved in the community and it just kind of stuck,” Miranda said. “It wasn’t just the Stampede it was everything.”
Her involvement with the Stampede started early through her father, former publisher of The Tribune and Stampede Director, Lorne Doerkson who got her involved shortly after he moved his family to the lakecity. He encouraged her to always be social and give back to the community, lessons that have become a part of who she is fundamentally.
When she would go and volunteer as a child with her sister she said she was always excited to go as “they always had fun jobs for us” like painting garbage cans or running food for the announcers.
To this day, the way the Williams Lake Stampede utilizes children and youth volunteers remains one of her favourite aspects about the whole event, so much so she encourages those with children to bring them with them should they decide to volunteer.
What kept her involved past when her father made her go, however, was the people and the community that she found within the volunteers that make the Stampede happen year after year.
Miranda said that she’s made friends “forever now” within the volunteers and views many of them as family. By her rough estimate, since the age of eight, she’s been involved in well over seven Stampedes and does her best to help out in some way every year.
She found out she’d been recognized for her commitment in April and said she couldn’t stop thanking the WLSA member who told her.
“I never even expected it. You’re not there with this goal of you getting something, you’re there because you just love everybody there, you love the event and you the love the town itself,” Miranda said. “I was just so happy, it felt good.”
Getting involved with something like the Stampede, for her, Miranda said gives her a sense of fulfilment and volunteerism is something she encourages anyone with the small-town-blues to give it a try.