The annual Dragon Boat event took place in Nanaimo this past weekend. The value of community really is evident by the sheer numbers involved in creating a successful event. A volunteer board contributing hundreds of hours. Save-On Foods sponsoring the Survivor’s Dinner with their Nanaimo staff cooking and serving. Rotary Club of Nanaimo North’s members and friends tending the bars and hundreds of local businesses contributing to the success. At events like this what you don’t see is the volunteering behind-the-scenes that makes it all happen.
Also what you don’t see is the economic contribution to the community. Competitors for Dragon Boat are from all over British Columbia, Alberta, Washington and Oregon bringing their dollars for food, accommodation and keepsakes to take back home. Of course, the most valuable contribution that stays in the community is the money from the event which goes to the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation for cancer support at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
Also on the weekend is Kathaumixw in Powell River. This event occurs every other year with choirs from all over the world taking part in a week long event that fills their recreation centre for the entire time. The community has supported this musical choral competition since 1984 with dedicated volunteers returning year after year, ensuring a world class event. Because of this, the community is recognized world wide for its musical endeavours. If you are going there for the event, you need to book your accommodation months in advance. There is an economic benefit to the business community and the Powell River Academy of Music that supports many of the local programs.
The power of volunteering does not get the attention it deserves. Many of the assets of communities are initiatives of individuals who champion the ideas and gain a following to support it to fruition. Take a look at your community and count the number of public projects that are being used on a daily basis.
Take it to heart and consider the difference you can make in your community by giving some of your time and talents.
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