Editor's View: Volunteers keep community vibrant

With three weeks left until Christmas, Flin Flon is rolling right into the holiday season. There is a lot going on in the area leading up to the most wonderful time of the year, and much of it is thanks to Flin Flon’s dedicated volunteers.

Events that spread holiday cheer, like the Parade of Lights, Christmas concerts, theatrical productions and charitable services are all a result of community members donating their time and energy. Without the dedication of these folks, Flin Flon’s holiday outlook would be more Scrooge-filled than winter wonderland. Everyone in the area benefits from these events when they get out and take advantage of them, particularly during a time of year when the focus is on spending quality time with quality people doing quality things – Flin Flon has a multitude of both.

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The extensive contribution of volunteers in this city goes beyond the feel-good atmosphere of the Christmas season and into the rest of the year. Flin Flon hosts a number of high-profile events – Bust The Winter Blues, Trout Festival, Culture Days – throughout the year that are dependent on volunteers, and area service clubs contribute their time and services for events on a regular basis. The amount and quality of community happenings in Flin Flon is astounding for a place of its size and location. One of the first times I visited the city I was taken aback by the amount of things going on during that particular week. I asked a local volunteer how a community of this size, in the middle of nowhere, manages to pull together such high-caliber events. Her response stuck with me. “We kind of figure, we’re it. If we want it to happen, we have to do it ourselves.”

And somehow, the community does manage to keep pulling off these events using the skills, time and commitment of our volunteers. It can’t be easy – the population of the city has shrunk, and so has the attitude of volunteerism, according to some committees and groups. In an interview with The Reminder, Melissa Richard, president of the Trout Festival relayed that volunteers are coming back on board in the last few years after several years where volunteers were scarce, and those who stepped up had to take on multiple roles to pull the event off.

With the upswing in volunteerism, the perseverance of a town that makes things happen prevails. The recently announced Blueberry Jam – a music festival that hopes to draw hundreds of people from western Canada to Flin Flon this summer – will rely heavily, if not exclusively on volunteers. If its what organizers are hoping it will be, it will be a large undertaking for those involved. Time will tell if enough people will step up to the plate, but the wheels are in motion, so organizers clearly have confidence the community can pull it off.

Having a strong volunteer base benefits the community as a whole, but on an individual basis, volunteering fosters increased confidence, and allows people to build new skills and meet new people. There are numerous ways individuals can benefit from donating their time and skills to fun and important causes in the community, and the more people step up with enthusiasm, the greater the results.

Be sure to get out and enjoy what the community has to offer this month. Thank a volunteer, while you’re at it, and consider giving some of your own time where you can.

© Copyright Flin Flon Reminder

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