Speaker Sandy Dunkley and Langley City Mayor Ted Schaffer kibitzed during the volunteer recognition dinner Thursday.

VIDEO: Volunteering in Langley City is all about caring, sharing, loving and helping

A room of some 160 people were thanked for their contributions during an annual recognition dinner at Cascades.




CAPTION: Speaker Sandy Dunkley and Langley City Mayor Ted Schaffer kibitzed during the volunteer recognition dinner Thursday.

Sandy Dunkley is a born storyteller, whether she’s doing so with poetry, songs, or impromptu speeches.

She’s also a high-energy, enthusiastic woman who has a “remarkable passion” for people and serving  her community.

With a list of accomplishments a “mile long,” Dunkley shares her years of experience and her insatiable thirst for life. She was invited to talk about her life, her career, her family, and most importantly about her volunteer endeavours and all that volunteerism had done to change the course of her life.

“She lights up the room, said Langley City Mayor Ted Schaffer. But, if he had a vaudeville hook, he would have used it to pull Dunkley off the stage at the Langley City annual volunteer appreciation banquet.

It wasn’t because he didn’t love all the vignettes she was sharing from the podium. It was because she was limited to 15 minutes, and the loquacious Dunkley was pushing past the 25-minute mark.

Schaffer was monitoring his watch, realizing the recognition festivities were going well into overtime. So, he finally joined her on stage, and with a chuckle and hug, presented what he called one of the City’s star volunteers with a token gift and a friendly nudge off the stage.

“Volunteerism is what it’s all about,” the mayor said before a crowd of about 160 in the Coast Hotel and Convention Centre ballroom Thursday night.

“Everyone of you in this room is very, very special…” he said, insistent it’s personalities that make Langley City such a “incredible” place to be.

But looking over and winking at his friend Dunkley, as she returned to her seat, he added “it’s just that some have a more heaping personality than others.”

Dunkley presented her personal and inspiring story of volunteerism, and all that its done to change her life – especially after the tragic death of one of her sons, Ron, in 2011.

She is convinced God has a purpose for everyone, and her purpose became crystal clear then. She devoted herself to others.

So, after more than a decade of working and playing in Nashville with her husband of 49 years, Gene, she packed up her bags and returned home to Langley, where she immersed herself in the community – taking on countless volunteer duties in a wide range of arenas.

“I look around the room and say good heaven, anyone of you could be up here, because you’re all volunteers, and you have that volunteer heart,” Dunkley said.

“We all have that heart that cares, and shares, and gives, and loves and just wants to do and help others. That’s what we do. That’s why we’re called volunteers.”

In addition to Dunkley commenting on the value of volunteers to this community, several politicians took their turn praising the individuals and organizations represented in the room that night – as well as all the others folks that give, those who were not present.

“Volunteerism is a labour of love, and the results can be truly inspirational,” Schaffer said, thanking not only Dunkley, but every volunteer who gives of their time.

“I hope you know how much each and every one of you are valued,” he said.

Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag said: “I appreciate the heart that you put into the community.”

Langley MLA Mary Polak has always been impressed by the integrity of volunteers.

“At its heart, you do these things not because anyone else is going to know,” but because they know it’s right and because they care.

“You’re the engine that makes the City of Langley run,” Polak said.

Councillor Paul Albrecht said some volunteers don’t believe they do enough, but he disagreed.

“Your acts of kindness might be small, but your community contribution is huge.”

Coun. Jack Arnold thanked all the “busy” people.

“If you want something done, they get it done,” he said.

Coun. Nathan Pachal described the City as a happier place because of the “hard work” of so many committed volunteers.

Coun. Gayle Martin echoed Albrecht’s sentiments about teamwork in volunteerism.

“Alone, we can do so little. But together, we can do so much,” she said, thanking a long list of community groups and organizations.

“We appreciate you very much for all you do.”

Coun. Val van den Broek described volunteerism as the ultimate exercise in democracy, saying volunteers vote everyday – through their efforts – demonstrating through action what kind of community they want to live in.

Coun. Rudy Storteboom added that 150 years ago, Canada was confederated by volunteers and 62 years ago the City was incorporated by volunteers.

“Today, volunteers in Langley City continue to distinguish themselves by responding to needs and contributing to solutions that benefit us all, in these changing times… Thank you for investing yourself into our city. Thank you for filling in the gaps; that no local government can do alone. Thank you for choosing to participate in our committees, service groups and charities. Langley City has the best volunteers.”

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

CAPTION: Young fiddlers from the Langley Community Music School preformed briefly at the Langley City volunteer recognition dinner.

THANKS TO ALL WHO GIVE

Special acknowledgement was given Thursday night for the following organizations, groups, and committees, a few representatives from each asked to stand up and accept applause for all on behalf of the Langley City mayor and council.

City committees

• Parks, recreation & environment advisory committee

Sarah Atherton

Shelly Butler

Lisa Dreves

Eva Karpaty

Miriam Marshall

Shawna McDowell

Dan Millsip

David Tod

Jim Wuest

• Magic of Christmas Parade committee

Leigh Castron

Sandy Dunkley

Teri James

Don Kelly

Darwin Osarchuk

Wendy Thomas

Rosemary Wallace

• Tri-It Triathlon committee

Ellen Hall

Amanda Hall

Bill Converse

Michael & Christine Hylands

• Terry Fox Run committee

Margaret McGuire-Grout

Sandi White

• Langley Lawn Bowling Club

Barbara Miller

Judy Hansen

• Advisory Planning Commission

John Beimers

Shelley Coburn

Brian Doyle

Dave Humphries

Hana Hutchinson

Esther Lindberg

Corporal Steve McKeddie

George Roman

Jamie Schreder

• Youth advisory committee

Eva Karpaty

Melissa Krsanac

Devon Laboucan

Annika Lee

Jasmine Lee

Jenny Lee

Kendra Yoshizawa

• Board of Variance

Neil Gibbons

Ron Madsen

Rae Anne Maj

Sharon Newbery

Gilles Parent

• Community Day committee

Janet Bennett

Cecile Carpenter

Sandy Dunkley

Tanya Gabara

Steve Nicholson

Sandy Shih

Debbie White

• Langley City Parks Foundation

Leigh Castron

Nicole Granholm

Rhys Griffiths

Teri James

Jim McGregor

Rosemary Wallace

Community health and support groups

• Canadian Blood Services

Sylvia Anderson

Betty Krentz

• Fibromyalgia Well Spring Foundation

Cheryl Young

Nigel Thom

• Langley Association for Community Living

Dan Collins

Shelley Durant

• Langley Lodge/Langley Care Society

Michael Brown

Grant Ward

• Langley Child Development Centre

Duncan & Haleh Magnus

• Langley Community Services Society

Wayne Wiebe

Jeff Metcalfe

• Langley Food Bank

Bill Strain

Iain Mair

• Langley Hospice Society

Barb O’Neil

Fernande Ouellette

• Langley Pos-Abilities Society

Zosia Ettenberg

Judy Vander Horst

• Langley Seniors Community Action Table

Kathy Reddington

Diane Fahlman

• Sources Langley Food Bank

Bill Pike

Judy Chang

• Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation

Deanna Horn

• Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary

Diane Thornton

Pat Walker

Community service groups and clubs

• Bard in the Valley

Diane Gendron-Cooney

June Ainsworth

• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley

Ken D’Sena

Jennifer Sawka

• Douglas Park Community School Society

Tim Lounsbury

• Elks Lodge No. 259

Barb Gee

• Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce

Jenny Hinch

• Kinsmen Club of Langley

Wayne Joyce

Alex Martin

• Langley Boys and Girls Club

Jen Fischer

• Langley Christmas Bureau

Velma MacAlister

Donalda Whaites

• Langley Lions Club

Nash Shivji

Joanne Clark

• Langley Meals on Wheels

Paul Crump

Rhonda Coleman

• Langley Senior Resources Society

Lee Douglas

• Rotary Club of Langley Central

Steve Carter

• Rotary Club of Aldergrove

Bev Dornan

• Rotary Club of Langley

David Truman

• Salvation Army Gateway of Hope

Jeffry Coffman

Richard Duy

• Soroptimist International of the Langleys

Linda Easler

Rosanne Ham

• You’ve Gotta Have Friends

Debbie Maloney

Penny Hambrook

Community committees and groups

• CP Rail community advisory panel

George Roman

• Downtown Langley ambassadors program

Kerry and Lisa Herperger

• Downtown Langley Business Association

Carole Ward

Teri James

• Friends of Langley Library

Arlene Pike

Leslie Utsunomiya

• Friends of Sendall Gardens

Nicole Granholm

• Langley Arts Council

Lana Hart

Ruth Bedell

• Langley Community Farmers Market

Marcela Ferreira

Cherise McGee

• Langley Field Naturalists Society

Ian and Joan Taylor

• Langley School District Foundation

Rosemary Wallace

• Point of Pride

Ross & Del Dewar

• Tourism Langley

Teri James

Public safety

• Public safety advisory committee

Janet Burden

Shelley Coburn

Sandy Dunkley

Trisha Evans

Meaghan Laycock

John Meagher

Sanjeev Nand

Colin Rachel

RCMP Insp. Shawn Boudreau

RCMP Sgt. Dave Selvage

• Public safety task group

Colleen Clark

Teri James

Lynn Whitehouse

• Langley emergency program

Toots Tucker

• Langley RCMP volunteer programs

Vina Elias

Sheila Holmes

Don MacAllister

Velma MacAllister

Annie Richard

Sandy Seekings