Archive | March, 2011

Any Volunteers Fast Enough to Catch This Little Piggy?

28 Mar

Only in Vanderhoof….


Community Achievement Awards

28 Mar

Six people from this region have been named as the recipients of the eighth annual BC Community Achievement Awards by Premier Christy Clark and Keith Mitchell, chair of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation. The six are among 36 from across the province to be recognized.

“Each of these people has a remarkable record of enhancing the quality of life of residents throughout the province,” said Premier Christy Clark. “And each truly deserves to be singled out and recognized by all British Columbians for their contributions.” Click here for the full story.

Congratulations to Vanderhoof’s award winner, John Murphy!

Welcome – Our New Volunteer Vanderhoof Coordinators!

20 Mar

Debra Bishop and Gail Kristianson form the team that will move Volunteer Vanderhoof to the next level. Both Gail and Debra have made a commitment to promote the organization, encourage new volunteers to register, meet with agencies and non-profit groups to assess their volunteer needs and inform volunteers of the opportunities in community.

Gail, a member of the Vanderhoof community for 32 years, has contributed her time and talents to many organizations such as Area Air Deputy for CASARA/PEPAIR (Civil Air Search and Rescue Association)/(Provincial Emergency Program AIR); Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation; BC Trappers Association; Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce; Vanderhoof International Airshow; and many other organizations. Gail is thrilled to be part of the Volunteer Vanderhoof Organization and looks forward to working with Debra and the community to realize its volunteer potential.

Debra and her husband moved to Vanderhoof in February, 2007 and as Debra stated, “Since the beginning I have felt as though I have lived here for most of my life. The heart of Vanderhoof surrounded me with welcome and love.” Debra also emphasized the enthusiasm and the excitement she feels for the chance to be part of helping those who have so much to give to their community and considers it a privilege to be part of Volunteer Vanderhoof!

Both Debra and Gail look forward to the positive impact Volunteer Vanderhoof is going to have on the hearts of those involved and most of all the community at large.

Charlyne Smilinski

Out of the Smoke

20 Mar

Last summer, Vanderhoof was faced with an emergency situation we all have come to dread – wildfire!

The fire started near Greer Creek, but within a couple of days spread to engulf thousands of hectares. For those of us who live on the shore of Nulki Lake, there was particular fear, as we are surrounded by forest and have only one route to evacuate. If the order came to leave, we all knew it meant GO NOW or risk being trapped. As expected, there was mounting anxiety in our little community during that period, as the fire crept ever closer and we became enveloped in heavy, black smoke.

However, we were met with support and reassurance at every turn, which helped to keep us calm, focused and prepared. We know this didn’t just happen because it was someone’s job. We recognized that many of the folks involved in emergency response don’t get paid but volunteered their time and skills.

Of particular note were the volunteers from Search and Rescue who came to every house to deliver the evacuation alert notices on Father’s Day. We know they all had families and celebrations to attend, but here they were, checking every Nulki residence, summer visitors included, to insure everyone was fully informed, knew how to prepare, what to pack, who to call and where to get assistance should they have to evacuate. They probably answered a million questions that day, and in doing so, helped a lot of nervous people cope with a frightening situation.

The smoke is gone and the fire is now history. But the kindness and generosity of those volunteers will never be forgotten by the Nulki Neighbours! Their extraordinary efforts during the Greer Creek fire of 2010 reflected the true north spirit of volunteerism – supporting and giving back to the community in a truly significant way – for which they should all be very proud.

Note: Evacuation Alerts and Evacuations are only a small part of what Nechako Valley Search and Rescue group does. Check out the photographs of their water rescue practices – in the middle of winter!

Donna Klingspohn

John Murphy to Receive BC Community Achievement Award

20 Mar

John Murphy of Vanderhoof will receive the Community Achievement Award at a ceremony in Victoria on April 20th, to be presented by Premier Christy Clark. Murphy has been an active community volunteer for as long as Vanderhoof residents can remember. He was a 15-year volunteer firefighter, a community and recreation fundraiser, and he lead the effort to build a much needed 33-unit seniors’ residence. John continues to make a difference in Vanderhoof by contributing his knowledge and skills to a project to build an activity centre for seniors. John was nominated for this prestigious award by the newly organized Volunteer Vanderhoof. While gathering information for John’s nomination, John was described as “a person who is dedicated to creating a better community” and “driven.” Once John sets a goal, he is very determined to make it happen. He has great ideas, is a very social person with great community connections, and is very experienced in fundraising and project management. He has incredible foresight, and is very community-minded. He is always there to help when something needs doing. John will be presented with his British Columbia Community Achievement Award during a ceremony in Victoria on April 20th. Premier Christie Clark will bestow this honour on John.

Janice Baker

Why You Should Volunteer

20 Mar

Flood of 2007

20 Mar

During the Flood of 2007, Vanderhoof turned out to show its volunteer spirit. Volunteers assisted by heavy equipment and VanJam firefighters built over three kilometres of dykes with 140,000 hand-filled sandbags. In one single day, over 350 volunteers turned out to help fill and place the sandbags. Food and water weren’t a problem – those that weren’t able to do the physical work provided meals, baking and beverages to the volunteers.

Volunteers were required to sign in and out at the Emergency Operations Centre in the arena mezzanine. Statistics gathered from the sign-in sheets shows:

  • 147 NVSS students volunteered nearly 1,200 hours – during their summer break.
  • The 35 members of the Vanderhoof Volunteer Fire Department gave 2,100 hours.
  • In addition to the hardworking Vanjam Rangers and Titans, 846 adults volunteered over 8,500 hours.
  • Vanderhoof residents donated the use of pumps, quads, property for storage and offered to billet people if an evacuation order was issued.
  • Total volunteer hours: 11,800 hours!

Janice Baker