Dick Stanton was a much-admired and respected community member. (Photo submitted)

Dick Stanton was a much-admired and respected community member. (Photo submitted)

Take a page from volunteer playbook

Stanton and the Lavenders set an example

Extraordinary community volunteers a rare commodity.

When you have them, you treasure them. Unfortunately, there are circumstances that take these incredible volunteers away from us.

We’ve had two such circumstances in the last week in Chemainus.

One is the death of Dick Stanton, a long-time Chemainus Fire Department member who always went the extra mile to make the community a better place to live. He’s one of those pioneers of the town in a sense during a time when so many put down roots here to raise their families and stayed for the long haul.

Nowadays, it’s quite different with people frequently moving around, partly because the job market isn’t nearly as stable as it once was in small communities, forcing people to make moves they might not otherwise choose to make.

Speaking of moves, another dynamic Chemainus couple known for their volunteerism has packed their bags for Calgary due to family circumstances. It’s almost unfathomable we won’t be seeing Len and Ellen Lavender around town anymore, helping to make things function smoothly with their expertise and care.

The Lavenders embraced the town after moving here in 2010 and immediately took on many important positions within different organizations. They have a giving spirit and made community involvement a part of their lifestyle.

Not everyone is able to do that for physical reasons or they just plain don’t want to.

One of the things the Stanton family wanted to impress upon people as news of Dick’s death spread was for everyone to do something productive with their free time as much as possible.

Especially for those who are retired and might be bored sitting around with nothing to do and family not close at hand, it’s a great way to keep social contacts and do something for the community at the same time.

There’s always something that needs to be done and a way you can help so we should take a page from the Lavenders’ and Dick Stanton’s book to make it a priority.

volunteers

 

Ellen and Len Lavender inside the Chemainus Legion Hall, a place where they spent a great deal of time at numerous functions over the years. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Ellen and Len Lavender inside the Chemainus Legion Hall, a place where they spent a great deal of time at numerous functions over the years. (Photo by Don Bodger)