Volunteers strengthen fabric of community; reap rewards from their work

Just as our lives are affected by a multitude of experiences, the life and fabric of our community is also similarly affected

Just as our lives are affected by a multitude of experiences, the life and fabric of our community is also similarly affected by experiences — the experiences of its residents.

Weekly we see the ebb and flow of Sylvan Lake and the surrounding district, through good and bad, through tears and joy.

We also watch and participate as diligent volunteers strive to impact our community’s wellbeing by what they do. Once again this year we were reminded of the vast variety of opportunities available for people who want to get out and get involved.

The Volunteer Impact Gala last Friday evening was a fantastic showcase for the talents of over 80 people who have made Sylvan Lake better by their volunteer efforts. We applaud those who were recognized.

And we also applaud the many unmentioned people who work behind the scenes, who don’t get recognized but who are also contributing in their own way to the cohesiveness and spirit of community that’s been even more evident here in the past few months.

Every day in all kinds of ways, people are going above and beyond to help their friends and neighbours, working together to accomplish more than can be accomplished alone.

Our community is truly special because of the volunteer activity which keeps the wheels turning and adds to the welcoming friendliness which permeates Sylvan Lake.

We agree to take up Mayor Sean McIntyre’s challenge and recognize volunteers not just during a special time of the year, but throughout the year. And to work to increase the number of nominations submitted for Volunteer of the Year recognition.

When we sit back and think about it, there are probably thousands of people who could have been nominated. Sports coaches, service club members, teachers, church members, those who support the special causes dear to them, and yes, even politicians who devote countless hours to their service.

We think of our own experiences here and in other communities and know that we’ve grown because of our volunteer work. We recommend it for everyone who hasn’t yet caught the bug. But beware, the more you get involved the more difficult it is to slow down.

Just ask those people who remain active in retirement. Many will tell you they’re more involved and their time is more committed than when they had full time jobs.

To all our volunteers we say, follow your passions, get involved and reap the rewards of what you do. Thank you to everyone who gets involved and contributes their talents!