Volunteer Appreciation Day has been formally celebrated each September at Frank Carpenter Memorial Park in Midway since 2007. This year an entire family was recognized for their service to the community and surrounding area.
Mark and Chris Danyluk and their four children—Joya, Lena, Anna and Josiah—moved to Midway in 2002 from Richmond when Mark took the position as pastor at Boundary Community Church.
In the years since, the family has been at the forefront of many initiatives to help the sick, the needy, the elderly and the youth of the West Boundary.
Looking at the Danyluk driveway in the wintertime would give a strong clue to the type of helping-hands spirit shown by this family.
Where a normal driveway might have one, possibly two snow shovels, the Danyluks had half a dozen. When the snow fell they would be over at Parkview Manor or clearing the walk in front of an elderly residents’ home.
Mark is now the acting chief for the Midway ambulance unit. Chris is working at the bulk-fuel depot at The Spot and the kids are all still in school – from post-graduate to Grade 10.
Chris (nee Schmidt) grew up in Grand Forks and had always wanted to get back to the mild climate of the Boundary, but Mark had always been a big city resident and insisted that never would he live in a small town.
It took some years to wear him down. He was from the Prairies and she first had to help him through his “I’m never going to live in B.C.” mindset that also stood in the way of them finding their way to Midway.
The Danyluks were instrumental in the formation of the BCC Youth Group and Chris said that while there is no such group for teenagers right now, she is working on Mark and anticipates something in the future.
Youth Group and youth trips to help in a Mexican orphanage were funded through bottle drives over the years.
In making the presentation Mayor Randy Kappes said, “As we all know, it is the volunteers that take a group of houses and turn it into a community, make it a special place to live.”
This year when the call for nominations for volunteer of the year went out, one came back in the form of a petition naming Mark Danyluk.
“Council decided that we couldn’t recognize one member of the family without recognizing them all,” said Kappes. “They work so well as a team.”
Mark thanked the community on behalf of his family. “This is a great community to live in and we love being here.”
The family received a certificate and each member a medallion; and their names will be added to a plaque in the village office.
After the presentations, council and members of the village office staff served hamburgers, hot dogs, and ice cream to all who attended.