Okay, we’ll admit it.
We’ve been blogging a lot about volunteering lately. But, do you blame us? Our organization is made up of many volunteers who make each and every fundraising initiative or possible.
We’d believe the Red Deer community would not be the same without them. So, it’s about time to talk about them.
For our June Member of the Month, we sat down with Scott Bourke, our outgoing president, about his Kinsmen Club experience, and how it helped shape him as the person he is today.
How did you first become involved with the Red Deer Kinsmen Club?
My Family has been in the club for many years in Red Deer. My Grandfather was a Kinsmen, then my Uncle joined. It was my cousins that were members that approached me about joining the club and invited me to a meeting. I haven’t looked back since.
What are some of your responsibilities as President of the Kinsmen Club?
Being the President is a great role. As President, I run the meetings, help the other executive members with their roles, and just be that go-to guy for any Kinsmen member with any questions or concerns.
What has been your most rewarding experience as a member?
I was the Dream Home chair for two years in a row. There is a lot of work in doing that, but the work is all worth it when you draw the names for the prizes. You really do have the opportunity to change someone’s life with one pull of a ticket. It is quite amazing to be part of that.
In your own words, what are the “core values” of the Kinsmen Club, and how to you encourage other members to embrace and communicate them?
I would feel that respect is the biggest core value in our club. Respect for the community and each other. We are all working our best to make Red Deer and Central Alberta a better place. Without the respect for each other our group would not be here.
Everyone respects the different qualities each person can bring to the club and the community to make it the best place in Alberta.
What is the most memorable Kinsmen event that you’ve been a part of?
Picking a Dream Home draw would be the easy way out for this question. But, the most memorable parts are just the parts where you can meet and hang out with other Kin members throughout Alberta and Canada.
The Ponoka Kinsmen have been hosting a camp out for the last 3-4 years with members from all over Alberta coming out. Just to see everyone’s families hanging out, meeting new people and seeing the kids making new friends for a weekend makes it the most memorable event that I can think of.
What kind of impact would you say the Dream Home Lottery has on the club, as well as on the community, each year?
The Dream Home is what makes our club.
Without the Dream Home it would be hard to say where the club would be. The Dream Home has the opportunity to put hundreds of thousands of dollars back into the community. It is great to see how one project can make the club come together.
It lets members learn new areas of projects that they wouldn’t normally get to be part of. Every person is there to help make the other members that much better of a person.
For the community, it is huge as well. With so much money being put back in to various local projects and groups it truly makes the Red Deer area a great place to be able to raise a family.
Do you have a favourite organization/initiative that the Kinsmen Club supports?
There are many great organizations that the Kinsmen support. It wouldn’t be fair to just pick one as a favourite.
The Food Bank, CAWES, Red Deer Pond Hockey, Family Services of Central Alberta, Aspire, Youth HQ (Camp Alexo), and various playgrounds are just a few of the great organizations we have been able to support around Red Deer.
What is a skill you would say you have learned as a result of your Kinsmen club involvements?
Public speaking was never a strong point and was usually something that I would avoid at all costs. Being in both the President role and the Dream Home chair role this kind of forces you out of your shell and puts you in a position to do some public speaking. By no means am I a master of it, but I am not afraid of it as I was before.
What is the importance of the Kinsmen Club for the Red Deer community?
There are many groups in Red Deer that look to us for funds. Without the Kinsmen’s help some of these great places and organizations may have some tougher times keeping their doors open. I’m not trying to say that it’s the Kinsmen that are keeping the doors open, but we definitely do help.
What would you say to someone considering Kinsmen Club membership?
Come check us out. We are not work all the time. This is a great way for anyone to meet new people, make new friends and help out in the community. We meet twice a month from September to June.
We try to mix in one of the two meetings to be a fun meeting just to keep everyone fresh. It is a great group of guys with the Kinsmen, and a great group of ladies with the Kinettes. Let me know if you are interested, come check out a meeting and I am sure you will enjoy what we have to offer.
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