A community cannot function without volunteers. Thankfully, in ours, there are a large number of people who give their time, energy and often their own money to make sure things get done.
It’s staggering when you sit down and start thinking of all the organizations that exist and are either fully or mostly run by volunteers.
There would be no Legion without volunteers. Forget the rodeos, Chopaka on Easter weekend and the Elks on the May long, without volunteers to organize, clean up the grounds before and after, cook, run the gates, and more they just wouldn’t happen.
Christmas Light-up, Sizzle, Canada Day—they wouldn’t exist either without volunteers of Similkameen Country—the Keremeos and Area Chamber of Commerce.
Then there’s the Royal Purple who work tirelessly with limited numbers to run Bingo every Friday, with help from the Elks, and also cater the majority of the funerals, and holiday dinners.
Of course, there are our heroes, the firefighters, who are paid, but not even close to what they are worth, and who give so freely of their time to train and often get up in the middle of the night to douse a house fire or attend a horrific car crash.
There’s those at the Lower Similkameen Community Services Society who volunteer at so many things from driving people to appointments, to delivering meals, helping with taxes, and so much more.
There’s the seniors’ centre, which is a hub of its own.
Halloween would be rather dull without the volunteers at the Cawston Hall. The Garden Club keeps Keremeos looking beautiful.
There are others like the quilters and knitters who gather to work on projects and socialize but then give their goods away to those who need them.
There’s a variety of volunteers working to keep people active from Friends of the Skating Rink, to those that organize the bowling leagues to coaches and organizers of baseball in Cawston.
The Kars Under the K clan work so hard each year to put on a stellar car show.
Don and Anna Bartlett wrangle up a big group to put on the annual Easter fun day.
And let’s not forget Search and Rescue who constantly train and are on the ready in case someone gets lost hiking or falls off a cliff.
No doubt there are groups and individuals that have been missed in this list and what they do for our community is amazing. And there’s no doubt each group could use an extra pair of hands or two to help out.
A big thank you to all of you who give of yourself to make our community a better place.