By Raven Nyman
Locals encouraged to get involved at Volunteer Appreciation Event
The Volunteer Appreciation and Citizen of the Year Wine and Cheese Reception took place at the Clinton Memorial Hall on Saturday, March 3. The event was well-attended by locals, who were treated to a delectable spread of appetizers and desserts that far exceeded a simple “wine and cheese” spread. For those who did not attend, you certainly missed out!
An enormous “thank you” must be expressed to the organizers of the event, as well as the many individuals and businesses who donated prizes for the evening. A special thanks goes out to Dina Connon and Alfreda Westcott for handling the bar and the drink and door-prize tickets, and for ensuring that everything ran smoothly behind the scenes.
Towards the end of the evening, door prizes were handed out by Nancy Rempel, Chair of the Volunteer Recognition and Citizen of the Year panel, a sub-committee of the Spirit of Clinton Committee. Rempel also served as the evening’s Director of Ceremonies, and did a wonderful job introducing the event’s various speakers.
After her opening introduction, Rempel invited Mayor Jim Rivett up to the microphone to say a few words. Rivett made sure to thank the many volunteers in Clinton, remembering the Volunteer Firefighters who stayed behind to protect our homes during last summer’s wildfires, while also noting the special services that were offered by our ESS volunteers. The Village is home to a total of 18 volunteer organizations, from CADOSA to the local PAC, which works hard to raise funds for the students of David Stoddart School.
Mayor Rivett called Clinton’s volunteers “the lifeblood” of our community, and his words helped to set the stage for a splendid evening of celebrating those volunteers and their contributions. He also reminded citizens of this year’s municipal elections, and encouraged everyone present to get involved by volunteering in the community in some way, shape, or form.
MLA Jackie Tegart then took to the mic, noting her surprise at Clinton’s continuously accumulating snow. She guessed that we all must feel like we’re “living in a snow globe.” I’d say she’s got it right!
“Communities could not survive without their volunteers,” said Tegart, adding that it is in times of crisis that small communities and their volunteers often shine most. She went on to note the need for young people to get more involved in their communities, as so much of the volunteer base is made up of retirees.
TNRD Director Sally Watson was next to speak, and had many inspiring things to say. Most notably, she advised that although “nobody can do everything, everybody can do something.” To accompany her statement, Watson distributed a number of yellow buttons reading “I am Somebody” for the volunteers in attendance to wear proudly.
Watson went on to stress the importance of being “somebody” in a speech that reflected the well-known sentiment “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” When it comes to seeing changes happen in a small community, she could not be more correct; it starts with our volunteers, for as Watson noted, it is so often those who do not lend a hand who have the most to say about how things should or shouldn’t be done. Instead, why not step up to be the somebody who helps get it done? The buttons distributed helped to remind everyone in attendance that participation is all it takes.
Finally, Watson closed her speech with a gentle reminder that although volunteers do not get paid, that is not because they are worthless. Rather, it is “because they are priceless.”
Citizen of the Year announced
Soon enough, it was time for 2016’s Citizens of the Year, Rolly and Carol Higginbottom, to announce 2017’s Citizen of the Year.
As Rolly and Carol began to describe the various ways in which this year’s Citizen of the Year has made an impact in our community, it became clear to those present that we were looking at yet another husband-and-wife team well-deserving of the honour.
Congratulations to Yvette and Andy May, Clinton’s Citizens of the Year for 2017!
As many Clintonites know, Yvette and Andy are heavily involved in the community, even though they moved to the Village less than 10 years ago, in July of 2010. Since arriving in our little Village, these two have volunteered countless hours, wearing many hats, and have become involved in Clinton in a variety of ways.
Yvette has served as a member of the Annual Ball Committee for several years now, as both ticket seller and treasurer, and is also a member of the South Cariboo Historical Museum Society with her husband. She is a member of the Communities in Bloom Committee, and is a Provincial judge for the program. Working with her fellow committee members, Yvette helped the Village to attain Provincial 5-Bloom status by planning gardening displays, promoting community participation, fundraising, and assisting with community profiles.
Yvette has also volunteered actively with the Clinton Seniors’ Association, having held the position of chair, which involves writing funding submissions to upgrade the Seniors’ centre, arranging events such as the Seniors’ Market Place and the annual Flea Market, and more.
She has also been a volunteer at David Stoddart’s 1 to 1 Reading Program, and assists locals with the Volunteer Income Tax program. Yvette has been a member of the Clinton 150/50 Committee, a director of the Clinton Villa Board, a member of the Music in the Park Committee, a member of the Clinton and District Art and Cultural Society, and a director of the Gold Country Communities Society. This year she has taken on the responsibility of chairing the 2018 Clinton Parade committee.
Though it may seem impossible to match the diligent efforts of Yvette May, Clinton has been lucky enough to find a similarly spectacular volunteer in Yvette’s husband, Andy.
Andy May has served on the Board of the Historical Museum Society for many years, and for the past few years has served as its president. Andy spends countless hours researching, archiving artifacts, repairing old displays, and attending to new ones, as well as planning and budgeting for the museum as curator. If you have ever stopped in to the museum, you’ll be familiar with Andy’s great talent for sharing stories of our local history. And if you’ve ever picked up a copy of our local paper, there’s a good chance you’ve read one of his many articles. In addition to his efforts at the museum, Andy has also helped to tidy up Clinton’s old cemetery in his spare time.
Andy came to Clinton with a background in economics, which made him a great fit as a member of the Clinton and District Economic Development Society until the society disbanded in 2016. Today, Andy continues to use his economic experience as chair of the Community Futures Sun Country board. He has also moderated two All-Candidates Forums with efficiency and humour. Beyond these efforts, Andy is also actively involved in Clinton’s MakerSpace Society, and is well-known for his council meeting reports, which can be found monthly in The Lariat.
I cannot think of a couple more deserving of the title of Clinton’s 2017 Citizens of the Year. Congratulations to you both, Andy and Yvette! You have each certainly earned this honour.
On behalf of all Clintonites, we must say “Thank you!” Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for our little Village. Your efforts are truly a testament to the positive impacts that volunteers can make in a small community. Well done!
Do you have Clinton news? Contact Raven Nyman at firstname.lastname@example.org.