Making a difference: Cash pays back community
Colt Cash has given his time as a volunteer to Penticton events for years.
Before he started, Cash watched Subaru Ironman Canada on TV and realized how exciting being a volunteer could be.
“I thought I should get involved with that,” said Cash, who works for guest services at the South Okanagan Events Centre and also works for the South Okanagan Flames lacrosse team.
“It made me realize the importance of helping out.”
Since then, Cash offers his time to Challenge Penticton, Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan, the Peach Classic Triathlon, Peachfest, the Penticton Vees, in which he is a big fan of, and more.
Giving back to his community is important to the 35-year-old as it’s a way to support what Cash describes as “outstanding events for a small city like this.”
“It’s nice to help out and be part of it,” said the soft-spoken Cash, a Summerland Secondary grad.
“I’ve heard some people say, especially at volunteer parties, they feel that Penticton could very well be the volunteer capital of Canada. At events like those, I tend to agree.”
Cash, who was born in Nova Scotia, enjoys helping others and his role as finish line catcher for Challenge Penticton comes to the forefront.
He loves hearing the athletes’ stories and learning about what got them into the sport.
Some triathletes shared that the sport helped put their life back on track after personal setbacks such as breakups, family tragedy and losing their job.
“A finisher told me he had done some smaller triathlons before suffering a broken back about 10 years ago,” recalled Cash.
“His goal was to recover and do a full triathlon and that was his fourth full triathlon finish.
“Some people will want to tell you everything they are so excited,” he continued. “It’s always been lots of fun, great energy.”
Cash has several memories from Challenge Penticton’s debut, including one when a mother crossed the finish line with two of her kids.
“She told me that her training started after having four kids,” he said.
“Just the excitement and all of them at that moment, something that made it really memorable to this day.”
The athletes also praised the volunteers and spectators.
“So many times they say it’s the best out of all triathlons that they have done,” said Cash, a member of the Penticton Toastmasters Club.
“They just rave about how much it helped them finish the race.”
His efforts for Challenge Penticton haven’t gone unnoticed.
“Colton has always gone above and beyond his volunteer duties with us,” said finish-line captain Lyle Brandt.
“He’s one of the first volunteers that shows up, works in various areas over race week and one of the last volunteers to leave.
“He is an amazing addition to our volunteer family.”