Sparwood’s movers & shakers

Most of them are unpaid, and all of them go beyond the necessary to support their community

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(L to R) Katrin Taylor, Kathy Letasy and Carol Walmsley head up the three non-profit groups nominated for Business Excellence in Sparwood for 2015.

(L to R) Katrin Taylor, Kathy Letasy and Carol Walmsley head up the three non-profit groups nominated for Business Excellence in Sparwood for 2015. The Elk Valley Thrift Shop, under Taylor, received the award. — Photo courtesy Sparwood Chamber of Commerce

The community of Sparwood gets a lot of its social supports from a number of seemingly tireless volunteers, some of whom are listed below. The value of their service cannot be overstated.

  1. Doug Smith of DDM Holdings has lived in Sparwood for just a couple of years, but is a wholehearted champion of the community. He is a member of the chamber’s board of directors and stepped up to keep the annual soap-box derby from being dropped from the roster of events during Sparwood’s 2015 Coal Miner Days.
  2. Shelley Hume works for the District of Sparwood and is busy forming a trail alliance committee for building and maintaining trails for non-motorized use by visitors and residents.
  3. Carol Walmsley (250-425-6435) and Edie Holland (250-425-6554) have run the Sparwood Food Bank and Toys for Tots for more years than they want to admit. To ensure that they are accessible to those in need, they asked that their phone numbers be published on this list.
  4. Mary Taylor, a retired RN and lifelong volunteer, is president of the Sparwood Old Age Pensioners Society. Among other activities, the members sell homemade food at the Sparwood farmers market to raise funds for the society-owned seniors centre. The society provides educational and other events and outings to minimize social isolation.
  5. Katrin Taylor runs the new Elk Valley Thrift Shop Society. All proceeds go back to the community to support projects like a new breezeway for the local seniors housing complex, or specific families who need help with funding for medical travel. Support from the thrift shop makes a big difference for many people.
  6. Steve Perry of Alpine Lumber & Building Supplies is a director on the chamber board and a generous contributor of time and assets for any worthy community project or cause.
  7. Judy and Ron Beaton are among several retired couples who make life better in the community of Sparwood through their many hours of volunteerism with the Lions Club and other groups.
  8. Margaret Savilow was the first volunteer in the Sparwood school system, then the first paid teachers’ assistant in the whole district. As a retiree she continues to volunteer at the Michel Natal Sparwood Heritage Society, the food bank, mobile health clinics and just about anywhere else she’s needed.
  9. Since 1992, Dave Endicott has headed up the volunteer group that runs the Sparwood curling club, which is an important social centre in the community.
  10. Karen Sheets owns and operates Divine Anatomy, providing yoga instruction for all levels of ability—for fun, for rehab and conditioning and for lifestyle improvement. She also volunteers to do the warmup for fundraiser events like the Parkinsons walk and the Terry Fox Run.
Marie Milner

Marie Milner is a writer and photographer for Kootenay Business magazine and several other publications. She appreciates the inspiration that she gets during her interviews and hopes to share that inspiration with you. View all of Marie Milner’s articles

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