EDITORIAL: Long history of lending a hand

Many popular events in Surrey and White Rock require the dedication and hard work of our cities’ residents.

Earlier this week, hundreds of young athletes from Surrey, White Rock and Cloverdale returned home after at a successful trip to the BC Winter Games in Penticton.

And while the sheer number of medals won by the participating athletes makes headlines here and elsewhere across the province, organizers in the south Okanagan city have deemed the four-day event an unequivocal success, largely as a result of the volunteers that helped stage it.

The same effort was no doubt applauded here in Surrey a few years back when the city hosted the 2012 BC Summer Games.

In fact, the Semiahmoo Peninsula has a history of volunteerism so long and impressive that it’s impossible to fully do it justice in this space. But rest assured, from Canadian Open fastpitch tournaments to Sea Festivals and any number of other sporting events and fundraising galas, volunteers here are as busy as anywhere else, if not busier.

That spirit of giving back – and of community pride – will no doubt be once again on display throughout 2016, as both White Rock and Surrey are set to host events that will draws thousands – if not tens of thousands – of people to the respective cities.

White Rock Sea Festival organizers are currently searching for volunteers to help pull together the annual summer festival, which is set for the August long weekend and includes music and other entertainment, a torchlight parade, food and more.

And while volunteers for that weekend are always in need – last year’s event required more than 150 – organizers also need help well in advance of the summer, helping to co-ordinate the logistics of such a hearty undertaking. (Visit www.whiterockseafestival.com for more).

In Surrey, volunteers have been working for years in preparation for the 2016 Women’s World Softball Championships – the biggest international fastpitch tournament in the world ever since the sport was cut from the Summer Olympic schedule a decade ago.

These are but two volunteer-driven events locally, of course – there are countless others – and all require the dedication and hard work of our cities’ residents.

They ought to be commended, but they cannot possibly do it alone. Hopefully, others in the community will step in to help – with the Sea Festival, as well as other events, large and small.

If history is any guide, there is little doubt that they will.