Volunteer Carmen MacLean loves sharing her time with fellow members at Monterey Recreation Centre in Oak Bay. Those with time on their hands can visit the Oak Bay Volunteer Fair at the centre, 1442 Monterey Ave., this weekend to see who needs a little help in the community. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

Oak Bay showcases non-profits and more with inaugural volunteer fair

The Oak Bay Volunteer fair runs Jan. 20 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Monterey Recreation Centre

Carmen MacLean tends to sing along and encourage others as she serves up themed meals at the Monterey Recreation Centre.

She enjoys her non-paying job, hamming it up when given an opportunity.

“We just did a Hootenanny for the volunteers, I just loved it,” she says with a laugh.

MacLean came to the Monterey centre for the exercise classes. She paid her membership and showed up a couple days a week to work out and hang out, maybe make some friends.

That’s just what happened, she quickly went from visits in the sunny Fern Cafe to joining special events organizers and the Noteables performance group. Now she routinely takes courses including a Lifelong Learning class in musical theatre started just last week. With 200 of those classes available, some even free, there’s something for everyone, she says. The 2,100 members also enjoy 32 clubs.

Seven years later, she’s a valued volunteer and member – not an unusual combination at the Oak Bay centre.

“Volunteers play many important roles in providing a great variety of services in our community – supporting the arts and recreation, protecting natural areas in parks, giving individuals a hand when they need it, running a charity book store, preserving our natural and cultural heritage, sea rescues, Block Watch – it goes on,” said Rick Marshall, a Community Association of Oak Bay member who sprouted the idea of a gathering. “Volunteers are at the heart of these and more; these community services could not continue without them.”

The Community Association of Oak Bay initiated a partnership with Oak Bay Volunteer Services and the Monterey Recreation Centre to showcase and celebrate community volunteers and to invite local residents of all ages to to check out opportunities to get involved.

The Oak Bay Volunteer fair runs Jan. 20 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Monterey Recreation Centre.

”January is a time when people, from teens to seniors, are looking for new activities to join in our community, for ways to contribute their energy and talents, to meet new people and learn new skills,” Marshall said.

The Oak Bay Volunteer Fair includes door prizes and live music while it highlights volunteer opportunities for teens and adults with local community service organizations. Participation includes a variety of nonprofit volunteer groups and organizations engaging volunteers in providing community services in Oak Bay.

Volunteering is rewarding, says MacLean.

“It’s allowed me to enjoy all the musical things. I do whatever comes up. I really enjoy it,” she says. “I feel very much a part of the community and it gives me a wonderful feeling of self satisfaction. I feel so good. Giving is wonderful.”


 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Belmont Student Voices: Influential teachers, good or bad, play a crucial role

Chances are you’ve had an influential teacher at some point in your… Continue reading

Canada men’s rugby team beats Brazil for it’s first win in the ARC

DTH van der Merwe continues to prove his importance for Canada’s momentum.

Speed skating a family affair for View Royal twins

Kieran and Kyle Brown set to compete in B.C. Winter Games

Hatley Castle 8K takes place this Sunday

Royal Roads race is the fourth in the Vancouver Island Race Series

Grade 11 student gains leadership experience in 4-H club raising goats

Mira Finkelstein enjoys spending time mentoring younger members of the club.

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

Canucks came out hot, beat Bruins 6-1

Loui Eriksson scores twice, catapulting Vancouver to a lopsided victory over Boston

B.C. man brings dog to court as ‘best witness’

Man is defending himself on charges of uttering threats, possessing weapon for dangerous purposes

Vancouver artist’s cartoon of Florida school shooting resonates

Cartoon shows football coach, one of the victims, meeting others killed in school shootings

Trudeau family arrives in India for state visit

Seven-day visit includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Military seeks DNA experts to help ID missing war dead

Federal program recovers, identifies and arranges burials for Canada’s nearly 28,000 missing war dead

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Reports of money laundering in B.C. real estate ‘troubling’: attorney general

News report alleges people connected to fentanyl trade are using B.C. real estate to launder money

Most Read