VOLUNTEER WEEK: Volunteers make Mission a better place in which to live

The annual Easter Egg Hunt

The annual Easter Egg Hunt

Mission is blessed with hundreds of caring and compassionate citizens who give up their scant free time to make this community a better place.

During Volunteer Week, The Record focused on two organizations whose members give so much back to Mission, the Cedar Valley Lions Club and the Mission Junior Optimist Octagon International.


Cedar Valley Lions

According to club president Ken Westwood, one of the founding members of the chapter, there is a misconception that volunteering will eat up all your time.

“It’s not time consuming. Sometimes it can be as little as one hour a month,” he said.

The club is sitting at only eight members, and Westwood would like to see that number swell to approximately 20. More help equals more aid to Mission and its residents.

Project-wise, the Lions are involved in several initiatives each year, including partnering with the Mission Elks for the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Fraser River Heritage Park, organizing a bus to take less privileged children to Stanley Park to see the Christmas display, sponsoring comedy shows, and giving money away to pay for music lessons and cover sports fees for those who couldn’t otherwise afford to play.

Another event Westwood is putting together is the Purina Dog Walk, slated for May 29. It will raise money to help cover the costs of service dogs. Check upcoming editions of The Record for more information.

“We need people who understand the importance of volunteering,” said Westwood. “If you want things done in the community, we need help.”

If you’re interested in joining the Lions, they meet the second Wednesday of each month. Contact Westwood at ken1568@shaw.ca for more information.

Junior Optimist Octagon International

Club founder Rhett Nicholson put the chapter together in the summer of 2008 after looking around and seeing few opportunities for teenagers in Mission.

Nicholson, who also volunteers with the Mission Optimist Club, said the JOOI club’s main focus these days is the Optimix magazine, which is written and designed by teens. And while the group of 14 manages to get the edition out regularly, local writing submissions are always welcome, said Nicholson.

Members also volunteer with the District of Mission for Canada Day celebrations and offer their manpower to the Rotary Clubs for projects.

JOOI meets every Monday at Sue’s Copy Place (33123 First Ave.) at 6 p.m., and often times the group walks towards Fraser River Heritage Park picking up trash along the way and in the park itself.

For more information call Nicholson at 604-826-8372 or visit the Optimix Mag Facebook page.