Congratulations go to the organizers of the first Wapiti Music Festival held in Fernie recently. All the hard work put into making this event a success paid off as a thousand people attended each day of the two day event. That’s a lot of attendees so that says a lot about the quality of music offered as well as the excellence of planning required to pull off something of this magnitude.
A few years ago the Free Press sponsored a weekly column I wrote featuring volunteers in the community. I interviewed hundreds of people and discovered a common thread. Many of the volunteers were the same people that contributed to different organizations making sure events occurred. These people worked tirelessly for decades until they were burned out. This is apparent today as well.
Local resident Butch Coultry said that this year the Fernie Soapbox Derby won’t be happening. Butch is the person responsible for bringing this event to Fernie nearly a decade ago. He recruited the help of the Knights of Columbus to help with this. Anyone attending this exciting event must have noticed how much it was appreciated and enjoyed by the kids, parents and spectators.
One year there were more than 100 children racing down the hill of the Castle Mountain subdivision, This makes it all the more sad that this year this event can’t be organized. The Knights have a lack of new members and the few older ones available aren’t enough to carry out all the work required although they have been doing it for a long time.
The Taste of Fernie is another event that stopped last year due to lack of volunteer participation. Butch asked the question, why do successful events such as these wither on the vine yet a new venture like the Wapiti Festival is successful.
It could be that those same volunteers find it difficult to do the same work with less people but placing their energies into a new event provides renewed vigour to donating time to make the event materialize. It would be advantageous if more volunteers stepped up to do some of the work that others are doing year in and year out.
Clubs and organizations are all suffering from lack of volunteers, please give thought to become a member so that valued events won’t be lost.
Volunteers are the heart of every community, volunteers are what make the difference as to whether a community is vibrant or not.