Volunteers make nice towns great
Volunteers make nice towns into great places, said Minden Hills Deputy Mayor Cheryl Murdoch, standing in front of a room filled with community helpers on Saturday in the Minden Hills Cultural Centre.
The room was decorated with daffodils and crocuses, a buffet table displayed a bevy of treats and music emanated from the back corner where Al Kirby and Michael O’Toole played banjo and guitar tunes.
“You make Minden Hills a great place to be,” Murdoch said, repeating several times how appreciated the volunteers are.
The event capped off Volunteer Appreciation Week in Canada and is the second year it’s been hosted by the township, said Elisha Weiss, community development co-ordinator for Minden Hills.
She estimated there were about 90 volunteers when all of the committees, advisory boards, recreation programs and the cultural centre is taken into account.
Volunteers were invited to bring a guest, meet staff and councillors from the township, enjoy food and music and enter their name for a raffle prize.
Linda Code and Kurt Christensen came to the event from Irondale. They moved to the area about five years ago from Oshawa and first got involved playing euchre in the community and, Code says, “it went on from there.”
She’s now involved with Bark Lake Cultural Developments and puts time into improving the Irondale church and the property around it. On June 3, they will be opening a new Book Nook for people to share books. She also wants to see more residents enjoying the produce from the shared gardens.
“We’re trying to push the community garden because we are so far away [from larger towns],” she said. “Some people don’t have transportation.”
While Code would happily welcome volunteer gardeners, she really just wants people to take advantage of the produce. She said people should come by and pick veggies when they’re ready.
At another table, Rita Germann said she was welcomed into her village by a particularly active volunteer, Betty Mark.
Germann said she moved to Gelert and was invited to a neighbourhood party by Mark, who helped her meet new friends and feel included.