LETTER FROM CATHY HARDER June 7, 2018
To all Legion members, both past and present;
Also to all members of the communities of Fraser Lake, Fort Fraser, Endako, Stellat’en and Nautleh;
I have felt the need to write this letter for some time now and I feel it is time to follow through on it. On May 25th I attended the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at the Stellat’en Hall. In my opinion, the event was a huge success in celebrating volunteers in our three communities by letting them know we appreciate their effort and in doing so encourages one another to continue investing into our communities. However, the reality of the fact is much more sobering. We, like many organizations within the community, need more people stepping out and helping. I have talked to so many organizations and they all say the same thing, “We are in desperate need for more volunteers”.
As President of the Fraser Lake branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, I loudly echo this. Not-for-Profit organizations thrive and are nourished through volunteers, for without them we will starve. We are all gifted differently and we all have different personalities and we must learn to work together. People may disappoint, insult and hurt us; however they also encourage, support, value and edify us as well. Nothing gives you a sense of accomplishment as much as being involved in a cause knowing all you get in return is the satisfaction of a job well done, a smile, a hug or even better, a new friend. These are the benefits of volunteering.
A community isn’t just a bunch of houses in the same area – a community is defined by its people. The Fraser Lake Legion has been a part of our community for over 40 years and a part of Canada for the past 92 years. It is not just a pub nor even just a café. These are our sources of revenue so that we might provide the our main service to those in the community such as Veterans, emergency services, senior meals, senior sports and various community events. The Legion would like it to be made known that it does not exist to compete or rivial with another business or venture. It exists to support and aid in our community – young and old. We have changed the rules to include to family as much as possible. Children are free to come and go as long as the kitchen is open. If the pub is open they need to have an adult with them. You don’t need to be a member to come in and we welcome any suggestions. We exist to support our veterans and their families, as well as our community.
Simply stated, the Fraser Lake Legion is at a critical stage. In order to continue operating it needs the engagement of its community. The Legion is looking for a volunteer coordinator as well as people to fill in for various positions such as bartending, cooking, kitchen helpers, meal delivery, etc. The executive has been working nonstop going above and beyond and would like to give a big shout out to Dale Peck who has so often donated his equipment and time for Karaoke and dances. The Legion appreciates all his help and all the others who pitch in and work so hard, however, the Legion need commitments with follow through. We need more people willing to engage.
If you would consider committing one day a month to volunteering it would make a world of difference. If not at the Legion, at another serviced based organization such as Autumn Services, the Men’s Shed, the Crisis Center, the Arts Council, the Fire Department or any number of volunteer run organizations within Fraser Lake or the surrounding communities of Stellat’en and Naudleh Whut’en. Volunteers are desperately needed everywhere as communities that play together, stay together.
We have felt the loss of various businesses over the past few years, as well as gained a few more. We recognize those few who were willing to step up to the plate and fill in the need. Unfortunately, the Legion and like many other service based organizations in our community, can not be replaced. Where else would Veterans go for support? Where else would another seek the services provided by those others listed above? There is no place else, for they are irreplaceable.
Buy local, volunteer local and together we will grow a great community.