By Jamie Rieger
Throughout the year, it is the volunteers who organize events, help with cooking at fundraisers, coach local sports, and sit on committees and boards; all things that help keep the wheels of a community turning in the right direction.
On Friday evening in Foremost, and Saturday evening in Bow Island, local volunteers were treated to dinner and live entertainment as a show of appreciation for all of their dedicated efforts.
Corinna Roth-Beacome, director for Forty Mile Regional Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), spearheaded both events.
“The volunteer appreciation nights are a way for us to celebrate our volunteers; children, youth, individuals, and groups who give so much and who help grow our communities. This is to celebrate everything they do and to say thank-you,” she said.
Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes was one of the dignitaries who showed their appreciation by serving coffee, dessert, and clearing the tables at the end of the meals.
“So many rural communities are built on the values held by volunteers,” said Barnes, who attended both events.
County of Forty Mile councilor, Steve Wikkerink, who served at the Bow Island supper, said, “I believe a good volunteer is a gift from God…Everybody here this evening shares of themselves and shares so willingly.”
Robert Larrabee entertained the volunteers both evenings with his “An Evening with the Legends” performance, that included renditions of Elvis, Neil Diamond, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, and other performers. He also had people in stitches when he would get the audience involved with his routines, especially the Blues Brothers.