by Lennox Gomes, Volunteer Coordinator at the Red Ribbon, Chestermere Country Fair 2012
The Webster Dictionary (does anyone read the printed version anymore I wonder? I looked this up online – a sign of the modern times!) defines a volunteer as “one who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest”. While that is a very basic literary definition, being a volunteer is much more than that as this writer found out.
When this writer first moved to Chestermere with his wife almost three years ago, we knew hardly anyone in the community. So being a volunteer at the local Recreation (Rec) Centre was a natural way to get to know more people in the local community. What started out as an attempt to do that quickly turned into a passion to help out in various events organized by the Rec Centre. The very joy of getting to know more people & being of use to the community far outweighs the time and effort spent in doing so. The satisfaction gained at the end of a successfully organized event is just a byproduct of the appreciation shown by all involved.
Which brings me to this year’s mega event, the Chestermere Country Fair, 2012 happening on September 7 & 8 at the Rec Centre. This is the longest running community event in Chestermere. As the community grows every year, with more & more Canadians getting to know this beautiful lake community that we call home, the Country Fair has grown exponentially with it. The Red Ribbon is the main event at the Fair & attracts more entries every year in the ever growing categories. While for a lay person coming to the event it looks like a well oiled machine, there is a lot of background planning and work that goes into ensuring the event runs smoothly.
With a lot of planning come a lot of volunteers, putting in a few hours every month to plan for the event. We have a very dedicated Core Planning Committee that starts meeting at the beginning of the calendar year to iron out all the details. As the Fair date approaches, we enlist more volunteers that help out in the setting up, running & final closing up of the Red Ribbon event.
Like our Volunteer Supreme, Marla Forth (shown in the picture) & her daughters, a lot of entire families get involved during the Red Ribbon, helping out in various capacities. It only takes 2-3 hours of your time to pitch in & ensure a successful event that showcases our community to visitors from within and outside our town.
If you or other members of you family are interested in giving a few hours of your time on September 8 or 9, please contact the writer at HYPERLINK “mailto:email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org or directly contact the Rec Centre at 403 272 7170 x 223 or email@example.com.
Picture of Marla Forth by Jen P used with permission