Late City Councillor Dave Hall’s granddaughter, at just 16-week-old, was the youngest volunteer in the room. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: What counts? Making a difference: Langley mayor

Langley City council once again thanked hundreds of its volunteers for their service

Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek fell in love with the First Capital Chorus at Christmas, when she unexpectedly heard the barbershop harmonies drifting up into her City hall office – from the library, below.

“I got up and literally just flew down the stairs. My staff were like ‘what is going on?’ They thought there was a fire or something,” van den Broek recalled.

“I get down there, and this group was singing these amazing Christmas carols. It was unbelievable,” the mayor said.

So, when it came to casting about for an act to entertain at Tuesday’s annual volunteer appreciation dinner and recognition event, van den Broek jumped at the chance to hear the chorus perform again.

“The first thing I thought about was these folks,” she recounted, as the group stepped up on stage in the Cascades Casino ballroom.

They didn’t disappoint, once again, the mayor said. This time about 20 of the chorus’ 45 members serenaded van den Broek’s 200 or so guests – a cappella style.

“We’re here tonight to celebrate our amazing volunteers who do thousands of hours of volunteer work every year. We couldn’t do it without them, so we truly, truly appreciate it. So tonight is about them, and showing them how much we care,” she elaborated.

SEE A PHOTO GALLERY OF THE EVENT

The music, by the chorus – as well as students from the Langley Community Music School – were just one of the special features of the volunteer evening..

It was also an opportunity for each member of council to express thanks to the individuals and various community groups that give so much.

For instance, special accolades were bestowed upon the Langley Community Music School, which this year is celebrating 50 years of teaching in the City. Van den Broek presented principal Carolyn Granholm and principal emeritus Susan Magnusson with bouquets of flowers, and heartfelt thanks.

Likewise, she expressed special gratitude to the Royal Canadian Legion for the 91 years of devoted service to Langley City before the local branch was forced to close its doors permanently last year.

Again, the mayor presented flowers to legion representatives Wilma McEwen and Christine Humphrey, with heartfelt thanks.

In addition to these organizations, representatives from dozens of other groups were treated to dinner and asked to stand up and be acknowledged for all their groups efforts in the community throughout the year.

“As a volunteer, you contribute so much. Skills, advice, experience, friendship, vision, leadership, inspiration, etc.…” said van den Broek.

Looking out over the crowd, and making intended eye contact with many individuals, she said “You choose to donate the most precious commodity in the known universe – Time… So, this evening, we take a little time out to thank you for the amazing time that you give and for the way that you give.”

In offering perspective of the contributions so many make to the City, she said the planet has been her billions of years, but a human’s short life and their imprint on this Earth is often symbolized by numbers on a headstone – the simple scribing of when you were born and when you died.

Well, van den Broek said it’s the dash between those two dates that she thinks about the most.

“What matters to me are not the two dates mentioned, but the dash… that little dash, that’s our life… It’s what you do during that dash that is the most significant… That represents to me the short time we have here to make a real difference – or not.”

She credited every volunteer in the room for opting to make a difference, and thanked each for giving so much.

“You choose to donate the most precious commodity in the known universe,” and for that, she expressed thanks.

Volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together, said Councillor Gayle Martin, who noted the experience of volunteering is also rewarding for the person giving of their time.

Fellow Coun. Rudy Storteboom said our City, province, and country were all built by volunteers and he described volunteerism as a team sport that Langley City can be eternally grateful for.

“Every community needs volunteers, and every volunteer needs to be appreciated… thank you for investing yourself into our City,” he said. “You bring life to this place we call home.”

Coun. Teri James went further to convince the volunteers they are “sincerely appreciated and truly loved.”

It’s the dedication and hard work of volunteers – like those in attendance Tuesday – who make the City better, said Coun. Paul Albrecht, noting that those contributions “affect the community more than any of you could ever realize.”

People are the City’s greatest asset, insisted Coun. Rosemary Wallace.

They come together to make a community a place they want to live in, she told the crowd in attendance. Knowing the attendees represent only a tiny sampling of all the volunteers out there giving every day in Langley City, she asked attendees to take back wishes of sincere gratitude to all their agencies, groups, and organizations.

“We are truly grateful for the work you do for this community,” added Coun. Nathan Pachal.

In addition to council each taking their turn at thanking the volunteers, Langley City-Cloverdale MP John Aldag spoke briefly to the room full of people who, he said, “give selflessly of yourself to improve the lives of others.”

He pointed to Langley City, in particular, saying the community is especially fortunate to have a large number of volunteers and organizations working towards a common goal: To serve people of all ages, from all walks of life, and of all nationalities, and the full range of mental and physical abilities.

“Volunteering is what makes a community,” he said.Roxanne Hooper

news@langleyadvancetimes.com

Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek fell in love with the First Capital Chorus at Christmas, when she unexpectedly heard the barbershop harmonies drifting up into her City hall office – from the library, below.

“I got up and literally just flew down the stairs. My staff were like ‘what is going on?’ They thought there was a fire or something,” van den Broek recalled.

“I get down there, and this group was singing these amazing Christmas carols. It was unbelievable,” the mayor said.

So, when it came to casting about for an act to entertain at Tuesday’s annual volunteer appreciation dinner and recognition event, van den Broek jumped at the chance to hear the chorus perform again.

“The first thing I thought about was these folks,” she recounted, as the group stepped up on stage in the Cascades Casino ballroom.

They didn’t disappoint, once again, the mayor said. This time about 20 of the chorus’ 45 members serenaded van den Broek’s 200 or so guests – a cappella style.

“We’re here tonight to celebrate our amazing volunteers who do thousands of hours of volunteer work every year. We couldn’t do it without them, so we truly, truly appreciate it. So tonight is about them, and showing them how much we care,” she elaborated.

The music, by the chorus – as well as students from the Langley Community Music School – were just one of the special features of the volunteer evening..

It was also an opportunity for each member of council to express thanks to the individuals and various community groups that give so much.

For instance, special accolades were bestowed upon the Langley Community Music School, which this year is celebrating 50 years of teaching in the City. Van den Broek presented principal Carolyn Granholm and principal emeritus Susan Magnusson with bouquets of flowers, and heartfelt thanks.

Likewise, she expressed special gratitude to the Royal Canadian Legion for the 91 years of devoted service to Langley City before the local branch was forced to close its doors permanently last year.

Again, the mayor presented flowers to legion representatives Wilma McEwen and Christine Humphrey, with heartfelt thanks.

In addition to these organizations, representatives from dozens of other groups were treated to dinner and asked to stand up and be acknowledged for all their groups efforts in the community throughout the year.

“As a volunteer, you contribute so much. Skills, advice, experience, friendship, vision, leadership, inspiration, etc.…” said van den Broek.

Looking out over the crowd, and making intended eye contact with many individuals, she said “You choose to donate the most precious commodity in the known universe – Time… So, this evening, we take a little time out to thank you for the amazing time that you give and for the way that you give.”

In offering perspective of the contributions so many make to the City, she said the planet has been her billions of years, but a human’s short life and their imprint on this Earth is often symbolized by numbers on a headstone – the simple scribing of when you were born and when you died.

Well, van den Broek said it’s the dash between those two dates that she thinks about the most.

“What matters to me are not the two dates mentioned, but the dash… that little dash, that’s our life… It’s what you do during that dash that is the most significant… That represents to me the short time we have here to make a real difference – or not.”

She credited every volunteer in the room for opting to make a difference, and thanked each for giving so much.

“You choose to donate the most precious commodity in the known universe,” and for that, she expressed thanks.

Volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together, said Councillor Gayle Martin, who noted the experience of volunteering is also rewarding for the person giving of their time.

Fellow Coun. Rudy Storteboom said our City, province, and country were all built by volunteers and he described volunteerism as a team sport that Langley City can be eternally grateful for.

“Every community needs volunteers, and every volunteer needs to be appreciated… thank you for investing yourself into our City,” he said. “You bring life to this place we call home.”

Coun. Teri James went further to convince the volunteers they are “sincerely appreciated and truly loved.”

It’s the dedication and hard work of volunteers – like those in attendance Tuesday – who make the City better, said Coun. Paul Albrecht, noting that those contributions “affect the community more than any of you could ever realize.”

People are the City’s greatest asset, insisted Coun. Rosemary Wallace.

They come together to make a community a place they want to live in, she told the crowd in attendance. Knowing the attendees represent only a tiny sampling of all the volunteers out there giving every day in Langley City, she asked attendees to take back wishes of sincere gratitude to all their agencies, groups, and organizations.

“We are truly grateful for the work you do for this community,” added Coun. Nathan Pachal.

In addition to council each taking their turn at thanking the volunteers, Langley City-Cloverdale MP John Aldag spoke briefly to the room full of people who, he said, “give selflessly of yourself to improve the lives of others.”

He pointed to Langley City, in particular, saying the community is especially fortunate to have a large number of volunteers and organizations working towards a common goal: To serve people of all ages, from all walks of life, and of all nationalities, and the full range of mental and physical abilities.

“Volunteering is what makes a community,” he said.

 

Wilma McEwen and Christine Humphrey from the Royal Canadian Legion, along with Langley Community Music School principal Carolyn Granholm and principal emeritus Susan Magnusson, were each presented with a boquet of flowers from the Langley City mayor and council, as well as thanks for their endless years of service to the community. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

Wilma McEwen and Christine Humphrey from the Royal Canadian Legion, along with Langley Community Music School principal Carolyn Granholm and principal emeritus Susan Magnusson, were each presented with a boquet of flowers from the Langley City mayor and council, as well as thanks for their endless years of service to the community. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

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