With several high-profile events like the 150th anniversary black tie gala and the Alberta 55 Plus Winter Games coming to St. Albert over the next couple of months, it’s going to be a very busy year for the city’s volunteer community, said Glennis Kennedy, co-ordinator of volunteer services for the Community Information and Volunteer Centre (CIVC).
“They’ve got some really major events coming up throughout the year,” Kennedy said.
The first major event of the year was the 2011 World Financial Group Continental Cup, which wrapped up last week. On Saturday, the 150th anniversary organization committee, Rendezvous 2011, is holding a black tie gala at the Enjoy Centre.
Kennedy noted there are other major events planned throughout the year as part of St. Albert’s 150th anniversary, such as a mega-picnic planned in August.
She said many of the larger events often attract volunteers from outside St. Albert.
“There are lots of people who will see that in Edmonton and volunteer for these St. Albert special events,” she said.
In addition to the big events planned in 2011, Kennedy said there are still a number of ongoing volunteer opportunities within the community, which are advertised regularly in the Gazette (see page 34) and on the CIVC’s website.
At Youville Home, about 170 volunteers regularly donate their time to help out in a number of areas, including with recreational programs, assisting with meals, going on outings with residents, pet therapy and in the facility’s chapel and hair salon.
“The volunteers do take their time and they do make relationships with the residents and they do take the time to talk to them as well,” said volunteer co-ordinator Monica McFadden.
“We can do so much more and include so many more residents when we’ve got volunteers,” she said.
In addition to their regular volunteers, the facility also has a number of Grey Nuns who regularly help out, as well as members of the Youville Auxiliary.
“Those ladies do a lot so any money that they make goes back to the residents,” McFadden said.
Kennedy said demand for volunteers will likely extend into 2012 as well.
“In early 2012, the national Special Olympics games are coming to St. Albert so that is going to be another major, major event,” she said.
“It’s going to be a really busy time.”