The Power of Volunteering

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Fernie Half Marathon, 2011

We take for granted so much in life, but in all reality it's impossible to be aware of everything. From the moment we wake up to the minute we fall asleep, we come across many individuals offering their services, support and abilities to help us not only get through the day but to enjoy it. While some may not be on a volunteer basis, I'm guessing if you look back through your interactions a large portion of it is.

The past two weekends I had the opportunity to support racers from the sidelines. This experience helped me to see a lot of the behind the scenes work and dedication that goes into pulling off events of this magnitude. Sure, from a racing standpoint I'm always in awe of the enthusiasm and energy of those lucky individuals who get to pass us sweaty, muddy bikers water and food, or help to clean off our bikes. It has a true impact on your experience. What I perhaps didn't realize is the amount of time and effort these roles demand.

From a race organizer standpoint, I can see how volunteers can be taken for granted. You are so busy and focused, taking on too many roles to get everything done as you hate to ask for help. Inevitably you lean on family and far too many a friend to come out race day to course marshal, record times, man feeding stations, and the like. Hopefully, you have good friends.

These events and others would not be possible without the volunteer hours of many. However you decide to give back - whatever it is you volunteer your time for, it's more important than you might realize. All of these efforts, from building trail to organizing or volunteering at events to picking up litter to watering your neighbour's gardens, make up our community... and we all know that Fernie is best known for its community.

Fernie is fast becoming a busy summer destination, with event after event filling the calendar during the warm sunny months. It's time to appreciate those that volunteer their time and effort to ensure these events take place, and find a place for ourselves among them.

If you're looking for opportunities to lend a hand, here are a few that I know would happily accept this summer.

Summer Socials - office@ferniechamber.com
TransRockies - contact the Fernie Mountain Bike Club at directors@bikefernie.ca
Porky's Revenge Recreational Mountain Bike Ride and Race - fernietrails@fernie.com
Wapiti - visit this link
Fernie Tears & Gears - tearsandgears@hotmail.com
Fernie Half Marathon - visit their site here