Thank you to all our volunteers

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to attend many festivals, tournaments, pow-wows, concerts, trades shows, and special events across the Kenora-Rainy River riding.
On any given weekend, our region is home to a number of special celebrations—not only through the summer months, but throughout the whole year.
While these events are too numerous to mention, one thing they all share in common is the hard work of volunteer teams who give up their spare time to give back to their community.
They sacrifice their evenings, weekends, and, in many cases, their vacation time to make their communities a better place to live, and I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to them for all that they do.
Whether it’s event organizers, musicians, and artists who give up their time, or those who spend time helping a community group or organization help others in a time of need, we appreciate their efforts.
We often forget that volunteering is not easy. The jobs often are thankless and can be stressful, but these individuals do it because they love their community and want to share that love with others.
That dedication not only has a positive impact on the lives of those living in the community, but many volunteers organize events that help spread a positive image of the community to visitors—and much of that work brings people into the community from out of town, such as tournaments, bringing with it economic activity.
Often they manage to do these great things with little or no budget, showing exactly how much we can accomplish when we dedicate ourselves to helping others.
While some events and organizations do receive generous financial support from community members or government organizations, the fact remains that even endless sums of money cannot compare to the spirit and enthusiasm generated by having a dedicated team of volunteers to organize and oversee the event.
Unfortunately, in recent years it has been harder and harder to find volunteers to get involved with organizing these activities. Many great community events have been threatened with cancellation because organizers simply do not have the manpower they need to continue to organize the event.
Yet, it is another testament to their dedication when rather than give up, the smaller group dedicate themselves to working harder and keeping the event going.
It is for that reason I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the thousands of volunteers who give up their own time to make their region a better place.
It’s people like you who make our towns communities—and we all benefit thanks to your work.