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Why the hate-on for Hyack?
Re: Time for an end to the chummy Hyack club (Column, NewsLeader, Sept. 27)
I've volunteered with Hyack for over 10 years. I'd moved to New West and only knew one person in town—a past Miss New West. She roped me into helping at an Ambassador event. I ironed tablecloths for two hours. I'd lived in Port Moody—we didn't have a parade or a "Miss" anything. As a kid, I was so envious of those girls that got to participate in New West. When I opened the door of the auditorium and saw these nervous women present their speeches, my jaw dropped. This was much more than I'd heard about. I agreed to volunteer on the committee and in doing so, met an amazing woman whose tenacity, warmth and passion was infectious. We became good friends. The night they swore her in as president, I began my ride with Hyack. I signed up to be a member to support her.
Eventually, she came knocking on my door. Would I sit on the board? I was going to night school. Not a lot of time. She promised it "would only be a meeting a month."
What she left out was that once you agreed to sit on the board, you would be swept up with the intensity and fun of the people and the events. I agreed and became enveloped into a world of laughs and learning. I met people that are my closest friends today. I got to know the city I'd moved to—I was invited behind the scenes of the parade. I started to get to know my neighbours—really know them. Got to know owners/managers of businesses when I solicited donations for various events. Even the folks at City Hall. I finally felt like I lived in New West!
So let's look at the "elitism enjoyed by a select group of people" that Chris Bryan is bandying about without research proving the old adage "don't believe everything you read in the paper."
Elite: A group of people considered to be the best in a particular society or category, esp. because of their power, talent, or wealth.
Power? The only power in my world is supplied by New West Electric (best electric company ever!). Talent? Now I'm sure most of the past presidents have some sort of talent. I know one's a pretty good golfer, and another is a spectacular grandpa, another is a great public speaker. Myself? I was a volunteer Can Can dancer for Golden Spike Days way back when—does that count? Is that a talent? The talent I did see from everyone of them is their talent to stick their hand in the air to help. When the event was over, they rolled up their sleeves to take down tables and tents, pick up garbage or drive Ambassadors home—whatever was needed. And wealth? We all live in modest homes, with modest incomes and drive modest vehicles. Even collectively our incomes don't equal wealth!
I have stood in sideways rain and snow with a smile, sold tickets, lugged tents through the mud at 7 a.m. on a Sunday, sweat it out in a wool jacket and vest while marshaling parades, walked miles with blisters and sunburns, handed out Kleenex to sobbing ambassadors, chaperoned giddy girls, taken eight years of minutes and spent thousands of dollars supporting this organization.
I drank the Kool Aid! Nothing elitist about any of that. It's what volunteers do. Just like the folks at the chamber, Rotary, arts council, Massey, BIA etc. Hell, in some cases it's the same people.
A volunteer isn't elite—they are the most valuable asset any non-profit organization can have.
And for the record? The only person that has their fare paid to attend an out-of-town event is the president of the day. The rest of us foot our own bill and do it for the love of the organization, the city and the friendships we've fostered in promoting New West over the years.
And guess what? This is the best part!
Are you ready? Anyone can do it!
Even you Mr. Bryan. Why the negativity? Why have you got a hate-on for Hyack and specifically the past presidents?
Get your facts straight! Get out from behind your computer and mingle amongst your neighbours?
Hell: step up and volunteer!
Hyack Past President 2008