This weekend is Seafest, the largest community celebration on the North Coast and a perfect example of the power of volunteerism.
The event is organized by the volunteers of the Prince Rupert Special Events Society, a group of dedicated individuals who give their time and their energy to help improve the quality of life for people living on the North Coast. If it weren’t for people willing to volunteer for the Prince Rupert Special Events Society, there would be no Seafest, no Winterfest and no Canada Day celebration.
But given that this year’s Seafest is paying tribute to another group of dedicated volunteers in Prince Rupert — the men and women who choose to go on call 24/7 and 365 days per year to help ensure the safety of boaters on the water — let’s take this discussion of volunteerism a little further.
Without volunteers, there would be no All Native Basketball Tournament which means there would not be thousands of people spending money in local businesses and hotels throughout an entire week in February.
There would also be no BC Annual Dance Competition, which again fills hotel rooms, restaurants and shops around town in the early spring.
There would also be no Prince Rupert Rampage, a team that excites fans in the community and often brings additional revenue to hotels, restaurants and other businesses.
So while most in town understand the impact volunteers have on the quality of life people enjoy in Prince Rupert, the impact volunteerism has on the economy. Picture Prince Rupert without these events.
And without volunteers, the Canadian Cancer Society would have $85,000 less to put toward finding a cure for the horrible disease that takes so many lives because the Relay for Life would never happen.
If that doesn’t show the power of volunteerism, I don’t know what does.