Great Benefit to Volunteering

Do you ever take the time to volunteer? You should take some time out to give back to the community by helping out a local organization.  I find it rewarding as well as new way to meet people.  This past Thursday I volunteered at the Annual Bifefest in Banff.  This is a cycling event kind of like a very mini Tour De France.  It is comprised of 5 different races and goes on for 4 days.  The week prior to the event I emailed to find out if they needed any volunteers. I was excited to find out that they did.  Although money is tight I really felt as though volunteering would help my spirits and perhaps maybe I could meet a couple of people who are into cycling as well.  So I got there a bit early and met the organizer, Meacala.  She gave me a t-shirt, a couple of bars, and a bike light for commuting on my bike.  I then met Stew and Patrick.  Other volunteers walked up to join and then we were off to our positions.  I was teamed up with a great gal named Amy.  We were off to Surprise Pass which was a beautiful spot on the uphill time trial route.  We were responsible to insure the tourist going up to the lookout would not be in the way of the cyclists.  I also ended up being the lead voice to say “RIDER” when I would see a cyclist come around the bend.  This would allow the photographer and media people to get ready for the perfect shot. We had to also insure no cars would descend from the mountain as this lane was closed  for cyclists to sprint up the hill.  The view from our location was amazing.  It looked down onto the Fairmont Princess – A beautiful site to say the least.

It was still a bit wet, but the rain had subside to a slight steady sprinkle.  Although the sun was not out, it was still very beautiful. I had a great time as Amy was a marvelous individual who has the most incredible job.  She is a tour guide!  She goes all over to lead tour groups and has had such a great journey thus far. We had a great time laughing and finding out a bit more about one another.

The last rider left at 6:05 PM.  By 6:20 PM we were notified that our jobs were done.  We turned in all of our gear and Amy and I shared our information with one another.  She was very gracious and even told us that if we ever wanted to stay in Banff, we should let her know and she could help us out.  I was then on my way back to Calgary feeling like I did serve a purpose.  It was a nice drive as I saw a couple of deer feeding next to some ponds.

Here’s to Making it Count by taking the time to Volunteer.

Ashley Stevenson