The O’Keefe Ranch is gearing up to re-open its doors to visitors on Mother’s Day, May 13.
There is a lot of work to be done to prepare for the season ahead, and volunteers play a key role in the daily operations at the Ranch and help make it thrive each year.
“Our volunteers are incredible. They wave to the crowds while dressed in period costumes walking in parades in 30 degree heat, or lift kids up to meet our draft horses up close and personal after a sleigh ride at -15 degrees. It’s heartwarming and a privilege to work alongside these amazing people,” said Kelly MacIntosh, former marketing and events coordinator.
In 2017, O’Keefe Ranch logged more than 5,300 volunteer hours. For a registered non-profit and charitable organization, with a staff of four full time employees and up to 16 part-time, student, and seasonal employees, the value is significant.
According to BC Community Gaming Grant, a fund provider for the Ranch, the dollar value of volunteers is between $15-$20 per hour, and for the Ranch that sum amounts to between $80,000 – $100,000 of saved wages.
Some Ranch volunteers have been involved with the interpretive and education program for decades and they come with a wealth of knowledge and wonderful stories of the past.
There is also a surge of young individuals with a keen interest in work-experience opportunities within the Greenhow Museum at the Ranch. This is key to keeping the Ranch’s doors open, there is a constant need for more volunteers and young people as programs improve and grow.
The Ranch would like to invite new and returning volunteers to attend the Volunteer Orientation and Meet and Greet Saturday, April 21 from 10-11:30 a.m.
This event will provide information on volunteer opportunities available, everything from gardening and animal care to bilingual interpretive tours and archival documentation. Anyone interested in attending is asked to notify the Ranch in advance at 250-542-7868 or email@example.com. Or visit O’Keefe Ranch on Facebook to stay connected.