With Thanks

Midway recognized the volunteer spirit of three residents at a community picnic last Saturday.

Recognized as Volunteers of the Year Award in Midway for 2014 were Jan and John Kohlhauser

Each September since 2007, Midway Village Council has invited the community to join them in celebrating the hard work done by volunteers in the community.

Mayor Randy Kappes told village residents assembled at the gazebo in Frank Carpenter Memorial Park on Saturday that the purpose of the annual event is to recognize some of the volunteers who spend countless hours making the village what it is.

“This year we get to see two ends of the spectrum; we have relatively new residents, and one has been a long-time resident,” said Kappes.

John and Jan Kohlhauser, who moved to the Boundary six years ago from Tumbler Ridge, were acknowledged for their many hours of service to the library and museum. Former Midway library director Stephanie Boltz spoke well of the pair. “Jan was an amazing help at the library,” she said. “She came in when I needed an extra volunteer; she came in one day a week to help out. When we were transferring from the old computer data system to the new computer data system, Jan, Cathy Hilton, Grace Hart and Leslie Draper were amazing. The library received a letter from Victoria congratulating us on doing it in record time.”

Boltz said John served on the library board for a number of years, including a term as board chair. “He worked really hard to make sure our library progressed.”

He now sits on the board at the Kettle River Museum.

“Thank you everybody, especially those who nominated us,” John said with a laugh. “I don’t know what came over them. We don’t feel that we’ve done all that much but we are certainly thankful. We don’t feel that we did anything special, it’s just what we do.”

Kappes said, “That seems to be a common feeling amoung most of the volunteers that we recognize; none of them ever feel deserving. But it’s the volunteerism that they do that makes this community feel like home.”

The other recipient in 2014 is Ross Elliott, who was away on holiday and wasn’t able to attend. Elliott is a second time recipient of the award, also receiving it in 2009.

Elliott is known for his contributions to the Midway Community Trails network (including major support for the JLB Kettle River Memorial Run) and his work with the West Boundary Community Forest for which he serves as secretary.

In addition to the certificates, the Kohlhausers and Elliott also were given medallions and their names will be added to a plaque in the village office.

“Volunteering is important,” Jan said. “If you want services in the community you have to contribute. And you get to meet new people.”

Following the presentations the community was invited to stay for hamburgers and cake served by village council members.