To those who make a difference

As an elected official we are always asked to do more with less.

Upon my return from the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention this September, I took the time to read the issues of the Nelson Star that had accumulated at our back door.

To my shock and sorrow the Friday, September 28 issue contained the obituary of Alie Jonker, a friend and associate who I had the pleasure of working with for the past two years. Ali was the epitome of a selfless volunteer that enriched the lives of not only the people who knew her but also the community she called home. As chair of the Advisory Planning Committee, she guided the Area F Official Community Plan until its adoption by the Board in January of this year. Her untimely passing gave me pause to reflect on the impact that volunteers have on our community.

The next time you go to a youth sporting event, observe a fire engine racing to a house fire with lights flashing, watch a Christmas concert, go for a walk on the lakeside walking paths, watch your child play in the Gyro Park pool or the Lion’s water park, skate on the Lion’s Park outdoor rink, enjoy our many hiking trails and downhill biking paths, turn your tap on (rural) or take yourself or someone you love to the new emergency ward for a CT scan, THINK of what makes all these things possible: VOLUNTEERS.

The last four years on the regional district board as director of Area F have opened my eyes to what makes this community a great place to live. It is the selfless commitment by a large number of dedicated individuals that want to make a difference by providing their time, enthusiasm, expertise and sometimes their lives, to enhance the community in which they live.

As an elected official we are always asked to do more with less. We therefore lean heavily on volunteers to fulfill the wishes of the electorate.

Without them we could not afford the services that we have come to take for granted.

What’s in it for them? They get very little thanks or recognition for what they do. Not only do they not receive remuneration but often take leave without pay or pay their own expenses when attending events or training (to make them “better” volunteers) workshops. Even though I have done some volunteering myself, the answer to this question remains somewhat of a mystery. Perhaps it lies in the saying that the best cure for depression is crossing the street to help someone less fortunate — it works!

Some people can’t find the time it takes to commit to a project. Some people lack the confidence to be part of a service club or charitable organization, but we can all make a difference, even if it’s helping an elderly neighbor shovel snow this winter. It’s all important.

So to all of you who strive to serve your neighbors and/or your community, and especially to Alie, here’s a big THANK YOU on behalf of Area F.

 

Ron Mickel is the Area F director for the Regional District of Central Kootenay

Just Posted

Kootenay Lake’s first marine waste pump-out opens

Sewage facility is located at the Prestige marina

1919: Nelson doctor drowns in Kootenay Lake saving child

And other news from a century ago in the Nelson Daily News

Lily Taylor, Levi Taylor win medals at Ogopogo Open

The local weightlifters were among seven Nelson athletes competing at the event

CHECK THIS OUT: Read B.C.! A roundup of books about our fair province

The Nelson Library’s Anne DeGrace gives us a B.C. Day book list

Nelson Leafs trade goalie Hunter Young to Rockies

Nelson will have an all-new duo between the pipes next season

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Most Read