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National Volunteer Week provided the occasion for a special celebration Wednesday night (April 18, 2018) as more than 500 wildfire 2017 volunteers were honoured at an appreciation dinner.
The evening, presented by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, recognized the outstanding efforts of those who stepped up during last summer’s wildfires that raged throughout the B.C. Interior. During the wildfires, the TNRD co-ordinated volunteer and emergency operations, and the City of Kamloops provided many of the facilities, including the evacuation reception centre in the Sandman Centre where the celebration was held.
As the guest volunteers arrived, they were greeted with cheers from TNRD directors and City councillors and staff waving “Thank You” signs.
The volunteers enjoyed a lavish buffet and swapped stories about surviving the summer from hell.
More than 1,200 volunteers in total worked long hours wherever they were needed during the fire season, which lasted several weeks.
TNRD Chair John Ranta and Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian co-hosted the event, which included entertainment by local musicians and dancers Brendan Methot, the Kamloops Swing Dance Group, Madison Olds, the Kamloops Performance Company, the Three Kings band, and Dave Coalmine and Evan Wilds.
Rotarians acted as servers for the dinner. Others assisting with the evening included the Canadian Red Cross, Monte Creek Ranch Winery, Lee’s Music, Nandi’s Flavours of Indian, Dorian Greek House Restaurant, Moon Wok Chinese Restaurant, Canada Safeway and Tim Hortons.
— Mel Rothenburger, Director, Electoral Area P, TNRD.