The Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition may have officially ended in August, but some good works continued last week.
On Oct. 2, members of the Parksville Beach Festival Society (PBFS) presented cheques to thirteen local groups who volunteered their time as Goodwill Ambassadors at the festival gates.
This year, the event raised $40,000 to divide among the groups.
"This is a warm, fuzzy-feeling day," said Cheryl Dill, president of the PBFS.
This year's ambassadors came from Arrowmith Search & Rescue, Errington Therapeutic Riding Assc., Fraternal Order of the Eagles, Knights of Columbus — Ascension Council 7991, Lions Club of Parksville, Oceanside Hospice Society, Parksville Curling Club, Parksville Lawn Bowling Club, Parksville Qualicum Elks #589, Parksville Qualicum Shrine Club #34, Preceptor Delta Zeta, Rotary Club of Parksville AM, and Xi Delta Pi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi.
According to Dill, in order to qualify, each group had to be a non-profit organization that would use the money they receive to give back to the community.
Each group has different intentions for the money it received. Plans include funding organizations such as the SOS and Salvation Army, supporting local youth sports and programs and creating educational bursaries. Many, including Hospice and the Shrine Club, will also fund health and care services. Some groups, such as Arrowsmith Search & Rescue and the Errington Therapeutic Riding Assc., will buy new equipment and fund their operations.
According to Trish Smith, event manager for the exhibition, this money was split based on how many shifts each group sat. There were 110, four-hour, six-person shifts throughout this year's festival.
With most groups volunteering for around nine shifts, most groups got around $3,200 said Dill.
"This event is really amazing," said Quality Foods marketing director Rob McKay, who was present to help thank the volunteers. "You don't see this in every community."