Church volunteers Val Hellewell, Micki Brault, Janice Brulotte and Marlene Mayoh. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Fernie assisted living facility thanks volunteers

Rocky Mountain Village hosts volunteer appreciation lunch to mark National Volunteer Week

From pet therapy to music performances, volunteers find a number of ways to brighten residents’ day at Rocky Mountain Village.

On Friday, April 12, the Fernie assisted living facility returned the favour, treating 65 of its selfless volunteers to lunch.

The volunteer appreciation event is held annually during National Volunteer Week, which runs from April 7-13.

“It’s just a time for us to get together and appreciate our volunteers who come here, and say thank you to them,” said Rocky Mountain Village Recreation Therapist Shelley Moulton.

About 70 people currently volunteer at Rocky Mountain Village and perform a wide range of roles.

“Some are groups that come in and entertain for us, some come in just as helpers and will go and visit with the seniors, play games with them, just share some time with them,” said Moulton.

“We have our church groups that come in and help out in that way. We have pet therapy, volunteers who come in with their dogs and provide therapy through pets.”

Local youth also dedicate time to seniors.

A preschool group visits monthly through the Fernie Heritage Library, while every year from September to December, Grade 10 students from the The Fernie Academy play games with residents.

“Some of them enjoyed it so much that they continued on after that,” said Moulton. “We have a good group of volunteers. Our staff are the ones that carry the day-to-day runnings of the building… but it’s really the volunteers that make the difference in sharing in our residents’ day.”

Volunteers also get a kick out of giving back to residents.

Every week, the Station Strings perform at a retirement home or seniors centre, drawing on their extensive repertoire to provide entertainment for residents and members.

“You can’t just play music for yourself because it’s so important to have an audience,” said Nici Blackwell.

“The audience is part of the experience and it’s so nice to come to the seniors centres, and they enjoy it and we have a party.

“This is one of our favourites places to come and sing because we know everybody, we’ve come to know the residents and we’re friends. This is very special for them to do this for us.”

If you’re interested in volunteering at Rocky Mountain Village, contact Shelley Moulton at


The Station Strings are among local groups that volunteer at Rocky Mountain Village. Pictured are Mike Bruschetta, Rosetta Rino, Nici Blackwell, Margaret Blumhagen, Mary Marasco and Jean Yves Ouellette. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Patti and Randy Cameron of Patti’s Party Tent Rentals (centre) with pet therapists T.L. Kokot and Marie-Claude Lemire at the volunteer appreciation lunch on April 12. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Just Posted

Stetski talks up NDP election platform

NDP candidate for Kootenay-Columbia riding outlines election ‘commitments’ to Canadian voters

Abra Brynne wins Kootenay-Columbia Green Party nomination

Brynne is one of three candidates who will challenge MP Wayne Stetski

Structure fire near Elko quickly contained, spreading prevented

A quick response by local firefighters today prevented the spread of a… Continue reading

Huckleberry harvesting restricted to protect grizzly habitat

The Province is restricting commercial-scale huckleberry harvesting to protect grizzly bear habitat… Continue reading

American Kevin Sheehan crowned champion at Fernie disc golf tournament

Close behind was Calgary’s Bogdan Szafranowicz and American Brian Bjortomt

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read