Leslea <strong>Destree</strong> is an avid volunteer in Williams Lake, most recently dedicating her free time to help organize the Williams Lake Harvest Fair. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Leslea Destree is an avid volunteer in Williams Lake, most recently dedicating her free time to help organize the Williams Lake Harvest Fair. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

OUR HOMETOWN: Integral community member, Leslea Destree

Destree is one of the driving forces behind the annual Williams Lake Harvest Fair

Williams Lake Harvest Fair holds a special spot in Leslea Destree’s heart.

She has been a member of the executive for a decade and as vice-president of the fair she is in charge of the children’s entries, the mini-makers market, which is for children who are vendors, and the entertainment.

“I love it all — having a community event like that where people can showcase everything they’ve either grown themselves or made themselves and show people their talents. It’s a family event that people of all ages can come and there is something for everybody to see or do and participate in.”

Born and raised in Williams Lake by her dad Bill and her mom the late Jan Margetts, the 46-year-old has lived in the lakecity all her life except for 11 years when she moved with her husband Duane to Calgary because of his job.

Eventually they returned to Williams Lake to be near family.

They have a daughter Payton, 14.

Destree attended Poplar Glade, Anne Stevenson and Columneetza schools, played minor softball, was in Girl Guides, and in secondary school played sports such as basketball and volleyball. She worked at Save-on-Foods as a teenager and stayed until the move to Calgary.

Her family lived in town until she was in Grade 9 and her parents bought property and built a home on the south side of Chimney Lake.

“We still go out there all the time. It used to be a place for all my friends to go and they still go there and now my daughter and the age she is at all her friends go out there. It is definitely the hang out place for sure.”

It was through Payton’s involvement as a Harvest Fair participant that Destree became involved on the executive.

“Someone said I should come and be part of the team and I said, ‘OK’ and haven’t left.”

She has also volunteered with Williams Lake Youth Soccer for about 10 years and was a Girl Guide leader for seven years.

Margetts Meats is owned by her aunt and uncle Pam and Steve Margetts, where Destree works part-time.

Outside of work and volunteering, she loves to camp and go fishing in Bella Coola. She enjoys walks and exploring everything around Williams Lake.

“We love to host barbecues and parties at our home and I have my own garden that I take care of.”

They live just north of town.

Williams Lake is definitely home to her and Duane, she said.

“Even though Duane’s not from here, he calls Williams Lake home. We both find having friends and family around and being in a community you know if something happens that the community is going to have your back is great. It’s that small town feeling. It’s a very personable town.”

Helping people and being involved with Payton’s life are important, she said.

“I like to know her friends and our house is always a house where the kids can come any time and they know that.”

Her mom Jan died on July 1, 2022 after living with dementia.

“I feel like the care aids she had were incredible and amazing. Through COVID and everything we knew that she was very well taken care of and we were updated. My mom was the type of person who just wanted to care for people so I guess that is where I would like to make sure that I am still doing that in her memory and honour.”

Having the Margetts family in town is a huge part of her own family’s life and having a very supportive husband.

“I’m the one who usually says, ‘let’s do this,’ and he’s like ‘OK,’ so to have that support is fabulous as well.”

Read more: OUR HOMETOWN: Rugby talent Grace Turner


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