Better Winnipeg: Volunteers the lifeblood of any Community Centre

WINNIPEG — Volunteers are what make most organizations run smoothly. There’s no doubt about it.

When it comes to Winnipeg’s numerous community centres they are even more important – even vital.

That’s why five years ago the General Council of Winnipeg Community Centres decided to start honouring those who play an invaluable role in their local centres by holding the “Above and Beyond” banquet.

“We’ve had volunteers who’ve been on boards for 30 years..30 years!,” said Lora Deighton, Vice-President of GCWCC. “They’ve been presidents, or they’ve been the hockey convenor or the soccer covenor, they’ve opened the doors and turned on the rink lights.”

At the Dakota Community Centre you’ll likely run into Dave Burgess.

Dave Burgess logs 4-5 hours a day at Dakota. Photo Credit: Global News

Burgess has been a volunteer with Dakota for 2o years, serving in a variety of roles.

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He’s been the coach and manager for Dakota’s soccer, softball, hockey and inline hockey teams just to name a few.

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Burgess was one of many honoured at the banquet in mid-November and is quite humble about the whole thing.

“You don’t get paid for doing these things – you do it because you love it.” said Burgess.

Burgess is your typical volunteer that holds down more than one job.

The same goes for Pam Durston who joined the Norberry-Glenlee Community Centre back in 2004.

Durston admitted to being a “fairly bossy person” and likes to have a say in things.

“I decided that’s how you do it, you have to volunteer in order to have a say,” said Durston. “You have to be able to be out there on the front lines and helping out and getting involved. My kids are involved in hockey so I thought what a better way  to get involved then volunteer at my local community centre.”

There are 64 community centres in Winnipeg alone.

And although much has changed through the years, the need for volunteers is still as great as ever.

“I do solicit and try to bring friends or other people involved in the club to step forward,” said Burgess. “That’s how I get my hockey coaches, that’s how I get other coaches. Their kids are involved so they’re involved.”

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If you would like to nominate someone for “Above and Beyond” recognition you can head to the General Council’s website for more information.

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