Volunteer spirit needs backup


Re: Mayor ponders sea fest, Aug. 13.


Re: Mayor ponders sea fest, Aug. 13.

Expectations reality check: Follow the money, do the math.

In addition to the costs for organizing an event and staff or volunteers, policing and insurance costs, the local parade of two hours may simply be history for many places. All volunteer groups – sports, faith, charities, non-profits, even schools – have affirmed people are not stepping up to volunteer.

Consider, to build one parade float: buy a flatbed, add security safety features like stabilizers, build a creative theme with illuminated water- and wind-proof decorations, make it highway mobile to reassemble, own or rent a haul truck, pay the storage and insurance, pay extra insurance for travel and crew to events; staff with crew and perhaps royalty from your town – whether from Kamloops, New Westminster – and then at least two days for meals, fuel and one night’s accommodation.

Now, tell me what return on investment sponsors and community will realize for one little parade in White Rock. How many White Rock and Lower Mainland area tourists to Kamloops say “I came because I saw your float?”

Add logistics with cross-border floats, bus loads of marching bands and some of the local karate clubs, doggie clubs and simpler local features with their own costs, and will you step up and be the volunteer parade co-ordinator for 60-hour weeks in July plus 15 to 30 hours a month the year ahead?

I have been there and done that twice since 1998, as well as volunteered many other years. Frankly, now I do not have the stamina now to take it on.

I noticed the expensive Tour de White Rock has few audience members to appreciate the efforts taxpayers put forth there as well.

Pat Petrala, White Rock

• • •

I want to thank each and every volunteer, organizer and member of the organizing committee of the Spirit of the Sea Festival this year and in every year past for the splendid, generous, contributions of time and effort, sweat and hard work, and caring community spirit they continue to give year after year.

They stand in contrast to those of us – me, too – who do not appreciate what they do sufficiently, take the time to appreciate what they do or take it for granted, or lined the highways for two and three hours to flee “Beautiful B.C.” on B.C. Day and similar holidays.

Stuff happens. We live with regrets, but we can do better – each of us – each year into the future.

Those who gave so much are to be thanked with heartfelt thanks and honoured for who they are and what they continue to do for the benefit of all of us.

Among the events missing from this year’s festival is the spectacular air demonstration in advance of the Abbotsford Air Show of the RCAF Snowbirds, the Canadian Coast Guard Hovercraft team – albeit constrained by closing of the Jericho Beach Coast Guard Station – and the display of the history of rail, which originates White Rock itself, for which the organizers bear no responsibility we can see.

Should the White Rock Spirit of the Sea Festival be organized, celebrated, enjoyed and promoted as a province-wide event presenting the best of B.C. to Canada and the world? Absolutely.

Thank you volunteers and organizers for what you do.

I am humbled.

Brian Marlatt, White Rock



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