The significant community of volunteers in Sylvan Lake will get the recognition and celebration it deserves, at the end of this month. The Volunteer Gala and Awards Evening will take place at the Sylvan Lake Community Centre on April 29, and will acknowledge the many volunteers that continually lend a helping hand in Sylvan Lake.
“It’s for all the community volunteers, as well as the supporters of the volunteer community,” said Jody Davis, Volunteer Centre Coordinator for the Town of Sylvan Lake. “We’re celebrating the volunteer contributions, and all of the good things that go on in our community. It recognizes all the good work they do, big and small.”
The numbers that Davis has been able to collect on volunteering in Sylvan Lake paint a picture of a community that is very generous with its time and resources. Sylvan Lake has approximately 993 active volunteers who altogether volunteered an amount of time that totalled almost 58,000 hours, last year.
“That is pretty phenomenal,” noted Davis.
Of the many local volunteers, five who have gone above and beyond in their efforts will be celebrated with special awards.
These awards include the Mayor’s Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service; the Town Council’s Award for Volunteer of the Year; the Healthy Communities Initiative Cup; the Community Mentorship Award and the Community Champion Award.
The Awards will be a semi-formal event, Davis noted, adding that “everyone typically dresses up a little nicer, we get together and we have a catered dinner.”
This year, the Calgary Duelling Pianos will serve as the entertainment for the night. Several local and regional dignitaries will be in attendance to celebrate with the many volunteers, including several members of the Town of Sylvan Lake council, Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Don McIntyre and Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins.
Davis said volunteerism can be found in almost any corner of the community, in any organization, noting that “it’s not only volunteers for x-amount of programs, as like Snow Angels and Yard Busters.”
She added, “It’s also all of the volunteers in the community, in so many active groups. For example those who work at Bethany, our archives, or community partners with the library and sports groups — there’s just dozens of groups.”
Davis also encouraged more people to volunteer, saying “it doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge undertaking. It can quite often be just helping your neighbour.”