Dozens of residents flowed through the Bowser Royal Canadian Legion Branch 211 Bowser hall in an effort to save the annual Lighthouse Country Fall Fair by signing up as potential volunteers Sunday, Feb. 25.
“We’re hoping it will all come together,” said Lois Curry, a Bow Horne Bay Community Club director now in her eighth year as a volunteer co-ordinator with the 47-year-old fair. “We do remarkable job with our fall fair. We have a very good turnout for it, and we’re able to allow children 12 and under to enter the fairgrounds for free, and all rides and everything are free for these kids.
“It would be shameful to give all that up due to lack of volunteers.”
Throughout Sunday’s two-hour rally, residents came and went, with anywhere from 10 to 20 people in the hall at any time to chat with volunteers, learn more about volunteer duties and sign up on volunteer lists.
“The whole planning of the fair seems to be done behind the scenes,” said Joanne Fereiro, club president. “We get a lot of people coming out on the day of the fair; now we’re trying to get people come out and help us plan it, as well.”
Both women said fair turnout and popularity is no problem. The annual event draws people even from beyond the mid-Island region. But the same, small core group of volunteers has been tasked with fair preparation for the last several years.
“It’s the same people doing the organizing,” said Curry. “We need a break; we need more people to come in and help out. And the more people you have, the less work it is.”
Volunteers are needed for advertising, gathering donations for the silent auction held each year at the fair, the Kid Zone and more, Curry said.
The next generation did make its presence felt during the rally. At one table, siblings Mason and Audrey Stentaford brainstormed ideas for the Kid Zone with their mother, Karie, and Lindsey Genoe.
Eight-year-old Adam Gray of Bowser sported a large, green “Save our Fair” button as he went from table to table with his parents.
“I want to save the fair so I can win more ribbons,” said Gray, who hauled in a best-in-show ribbon to go with two first-place, one second-place and one third-place ribbon at last year’s fair. He said he enjoys making things at school and showing them to the fair judges.
“My favourite part is when you get the money at the end,” he added.
There is still time to pitch in, sign up or learn more, said Fereiro and Curry. Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at the Lighthouse Community Hall in Qualicum Bay. Or visit www.communityclub.ca for a list of contact numbers and emails of board directors.