Thank you for helping us bloom”, read the huge poster hanging from the entrance of the living room at Heritage Place, where on April 7, more than 70 people gathered to celebrate the beginning of “Volunteer Week” in Canada, a traditional celebration that goes back decades in our community, especially in the seniors homes in the Alberni Valley.
And, for the last three years, the residents/tenants of Abbeyfield House and Heritage Place have joined hands together to organize the event in order to express their gratitude to the hundreds of volunteers who, year after year, contribute to make their lives more meaningful and enjoyable.
“We couldn’t function without you,” said Marlene Dietrich in her address at the event. “We have volunteers in many areas of our daily life, from school students, entertainers, to board members, etc. How can we ever thank you!”
Dietrich, a well-known volunteer in Port Alberni, has been an active member of the Heritage Place and Abbeyfield boards since their beginnings. And for the past eight years she has been at the helm as president of the Abbeyfield board.
Another speaker was president Sylvia Springer. She brought greetings to the volunteers on behalf of the Heritage Place board of directors. Springer is one of the founding members of this seniors home board, and who has also been involved in the Fir Park Village/Echo Village Foundation and the ACCC board.
The special program was organized by Deb Walton and Roxane Heard, social director/coordinator of the two homes. In their opening remarks, both praised the great support the volunteers provide to their respective homes. Their speeches were a mixture of gratitude and a good dose of cheerfulness and laughter.
Other speakers included Pat Murray, a long time volunteer of Heritage Place, who has been involved in many outdoor and outdoor carpentry and gardening projects.
“This is a good place to live and work,” said the 86-year-old popular volunteer.
Heritage Place tenants and past volunteers Bobbie Scholte, John Shaw and Doreen Leach, along with Abbeyfield resident Orize Marcotte, took to the podium to thank the volunteers for the great job they do on their behalf.
The event concluded with refreshments and the traditional cutting of the “thank you” cake by the two presidents, Springer and Dietrich, followed by musical treats by Walter and Dan and the always lively and entertaining dancing by Hannel Talkio.
Another year of recognition for a job well done.