By Christi Baron
Forks Forum Editor
People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some, it offers the chance to give something back to the community or to make a difference to the people around them. For others, it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge.
Volunteering is good for you! Experts report that when you focus on someone other than yourself, it interrupts usual tension-producing patterns.
Moods and emotions like optimism, joy and control over one’s fate strengthen the immune system, and volunteering strengthens the community.
Most people don’t volunteer to get an award, but sometimes those volunteers need to hear how much they are appreciated.
Since 2001, the Forks Chamber of Commerce has recognized these volunteers among us.
On Saturday, Nov. 4, the “Best of” our community will be honored at the annual Wine and Cheese at the Rainforest Arts Center from 7-10 p.m. See page 10 for this year’s nominees and nomination letters.
This year, as the Wine and Cheese committee was in the planning stage, it was suggested that the awards needed to be expanded. Some entities in our community don’t quite fit the criteria of a business, such as service groups, the hospital, the fire department, the ambulance crew, The Caring Place, etc. These entities all make a huge difference in our community but don’t really fit the mold of the Business of the Year award.
So this year a new award has been created, and it will also pay tribute to one of the most dedicated volunteers our community has ever known.
The Inez Halverson Community Service Award, or “Halvy,” will be presented for the first time this year. If you knew Halvy I don’t need to explain, but if you didn’t then you missed out! Halvy was involved in 4-H with several generations of Forks kids. She was in Garden Club overseeing the Woodsy Owl poster contest, and she was at almost every city council meeting, West End Business meeting and chamber meeting. She was an asset to our community.
Halvy passed on Dec. 9, 2008, and surprisingly she never won the Citizen or Volunteer of the Year award!
This year this new award will recognize her contributions and the first recipient of this award is … Olympic Corrections Center.
From the community crews that make Forks a more attractive place to live with their painting, carpentry and landscaping work, the firewood project that helps so many, the wood shop that creates amazing items that are donated to the Scholarship Auction and other local fundraisers, to the Inmate Recovery Team that was instrumental recently in locating a missing person and to all the employees that volunteer on their own time, we say thank you.
And just this week, the OCC staff donated almost 50 pounds of candy to Long Term Care so residents can hand out treats on Halloween!
We are so fortunate to have OCC in our community!
And speaking of amazing entities in our community, on Monday morning I got to see a number of them all in action right outside my office window (see accident photo, front page). The response was a thing of beauty!
The dust had hardly settled after the impact and the ambulance, Forks Police, Fire Department and county responders were on scene. Every person went into action doing what they do: taking care of the drivers and passengers in the accident, directing traffic and taking statements … and a good number of them are volunteers!
So come on out Saturday night and celebrate what makes our community a great place to live! Say thank you and next year please consider nominating someone you know that is making a difference!