Over the past eight years I’ve had the privilege of meeting and working with many amazing community minded people throughout the Cariboo. These are individuals who have taken up a particular cause or have such a strong passion for their community that they dedicate untold hours of their time to volunteer work.
These are the people who make our festivals and fairs happen, like the members of the Billy Barker Days Society and the Williams Lake Stampede organizing committee. People who keep our museums and art galleries open and provide our communities with opportunities to enjoy live theatre and events like ArtsWells and Horsefly’s Arts on the Fly.
Individuals like Audrey MacLise in Williams Lake, Carol Weremy in Quesnel, and Susan MacNeill (who works in both communities) keep reminding us of our obligations to our seniors, while volunteers at the Child Development Centres and Big Brothers Big Sisters provide support and advocate for more resources for children.
We have very active chapters of the Canadian Cancer Society and Kidney Foundation in both Williams Lake and Quesnel whose volunteers provide multiple opportunities for us to gather together to raise money for these causes. Likewise, there are support groups for a host of other diseases and life challenges that are organized and maintained purely through volunteer efforts.
We’re also fortunate to have a wide variety of service groups and foundations that work hard to improve the overall socio-economic climate of our communities. While organizations like the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society, Baker Creek Enhancement Society, and Council of Canadians focus their volunteer time and energy on sustainability and environmental projects and initiatives.
We all owe a debt of gratitude to these individuals and organizations as their volunteer efforts make our communities better places to live. One way to show our gratitude is to participate in as many of the events they put on as possible. Better yet, pick your own particular cause or community endeavour and join this dedicated corps of community and cause-minded people; they can always use more help.
Bob Simpson is the Independent MLA for Cariboo North.