On the Ropes - Tom Roper

Volunteers make the valley thrive and the world go ‘round

Tom celebrates the efforts of the many people who make things happen in the community

My wife always says: “The world runs on volunteer power” and it seems to be true in this valley.

Last month, the newspaper front page attested to this fact with the super success of the Daffodil Dash. I did not think Grant Harris could jump that high and thought the pic must have been photo-shopped.

Our valley is awash with groups that could not function without free and dedicated help. My connection, of course, comes through my wife, Sara Tomlinson and her involvement in the Northwest Animal Shelter. I personally start to get itchy when I am around more than one dog at a time, but Sara and her volunteer co-workers seemingly cannot get enough of animal love.

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It does seem that these people are not alone. Since COVID times started there may be more people in town walking dogs than ever before. I have to take my hat off to those volunteers as there is a benefit to connecting with a dog or cat. The shelter does provide a service to our community and area.

My own experience over the past several years has been with the group called BackCountry Horsemen. They have a core of dedicated volunteers that have built a cabin, several corral campsites and generally developed a horse camp with riding trails along Goathorn Creek at the end of Coalmine Road.

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These people are there for every work bee and clinic. My personal horses have all died of old age and I have stepped back. Fortunately, several younger members have put their names forward to keep this club alive.

Just a couple of months back, Heather Gallagher, connected with the Legion to see if they could set up a music area that would be COVID friendly. George Stokes stepped up to build six separate booths for instrument players and crooners. He did an exceptional job.

Over the years George’s volunteer list has been so long you would have wondered how he could have held down a full-time job.

I got a call from Kathy the other day informing me that that the Round Lake Community Association was putting a new dock out on the lake. She suggested I call Judy to garner more info. As it turns out the association had ordered this dock from Alberta last year and with the help of a Wetzin’kwa grant, and volunteers Jeremy, Rayner and Cor, it is now afloat.

Cor also confirmed that this year will be the 100th anniversary of the Round Lake Hall. They hope to have several events set up to celebrate if they can get enough volunteers. Go figure.

I am looking to promote your group and if you have a story to tell please get in touch with me at tr.ranch@hotmail.com or call me at 250-877-1806.

Thanks, Tom.


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Round Lake has a beautiful new swimming feature thanks to the efforts of volunteers. (Tom Roper photo)