This year’s youth volunteer of the year Alexis Hemond, 23, has been attending the Williams Lake Stampede and festivities for as long as she can remember.
As a youngster she was usually on a float for the parade whether it was for Williams Lake Minor Hockey, Big Horns Lacrosse or gymnastics.
Once she was old enough, she started tagging along with her mom Cathy Norman, who photographs the rodeos.
“For several years I have been a media volunteer on Stampede weekend and I absolutely love it,” she said. “While behind the shoots I would help with the odd things if someone was needing an extra hand too.”
She loves all of the rodeo events, but when asked for favourites she named rough stock and calf roping.
Hemond decided in 2019 to take the bull by the horns and volunteer with the Williams Lake Stampede Association.
Her in-laws – Tim Rolph and Sue Rolph – are both directors on the board and are always super busy and Hemond found herself wanting to help them in any way she could.
As a result, she attended the work bees that started months in advance of Stampede weekend, doing such things as helping clean the grandstands, washrooms and more.
“During Stampede weekend I helped run the merchandise booth, photography, social media and helped with other odd jobs.”
Through volunteering she has learned to appreciate just how much work goes on behind the scenes and said she really enjoyed the entire weekend.
“It’s truly such a big event for the community that people look forward to all year long.”
Even though the Stampede was cancelled for two years in a row due to COVID-19, the association kept the momentum alive with drive-through breakfasts and barbecues.
Hemond volunteered there as well and said the events helped keep the spirit of the Stampede alive.
As she eyes 2022, she is excited to see the “greatest show on earth” back in action.
“Let R buck!”
Honoured to be named youth volunteer of the year, she said she truly enjoyed volunteering and although she did not need any type of validation on the work she put in, it does feel great to be noticed and appreciated.