High-energy resident busy helping

Black Diamond: Christine Bates named 2014 Volunteer of the Year

By: Tammy Rollie

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 01:48 pm

Turner Valley resident Christine Bates was named the Black Diamond 2014 Volunteer of the Year recipient last week.
Turner Valley resident Christine Bates was named the Black Diamond 2014 Volunteer of the Year recipient last week.
Jordan Verlage/OWW

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A Black Diamond volunteer knew her pick for a prestigious community award would be this year’s recipient.

Former Welcome Wagon representative Linda Nelson met Christine Bates when she welcomed her family to Turner Valley five years ago. Since then, Nelson watched as Bates selflessly delved into community initiatives.

Nelson was so impressed with Bates’ community mindedness that she nominated her for the 2014 Black Diamond Volunteer of the Year Award. Bates was named the winner at Black Diamond town council’s regular meeting on March 5.

“I could tell from the first time I met her she was going to be a real positive addition to the Diamond Valley area,” said Nelson.

Nelson was right. During the last few years Bates joined a variety of community initiatives and is secretary for the Town of Black Diamond parks and recreation department secretary, chairperson of the High Country Wellness Coalition, is on the board of directors for the Diamond Valley Boys and Girls Club and assists with church and school activities in her community.

Nelson, a recipient of the Black Diamond 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award along with Barb Froud, said when she first welcomed Bates into the community she saw a high-energy person who was interested in her community.

“She wanted to know what kinds of services and resources were in the community for her and her family,” she said.

Nelson began to see Bates at community events and functions, often in volunteer roles.

“I thought this is a girl who is very busy in the community,” she said.

“You want something done you ask a busy person and Christine is a busy person and she is able to juggle everything. She’s just really interested in promoting the community and wellness in the community.”

Bates, who moved to Turner Valley from Fort St. John, B.C., craved a small town community atmosphere where citizens come together to make the community a great place to live.

“We wanted a different way of life,” she said of her and her husband Jeff. “Everybody is interconnected in a lot of ways and I really enjoy that. There’s a lot of people who donate their time and energy to a lot of different causes in this area and that’s admirable.”

The decision to become involved with community initiatives was an easy one for Bates.

“I want the community to be a better place and the best place to start is with me instead of expecting somebody else to do it,” she said.

“Because I have young children as well I want to make the world a better place for them.”

Bates said she got involved with the Diamond Valley Boys and Girls Club because of the wonderful things she saw happening there.

The charitable organization provides programs and services that promote personal growth and development in children and youth.

“When I wasn’t able to be working there I thought this is a really good service to the community so I wanted to stay involved in some way,” she said.

Bates joined the High Country Wellness Coalition after she was invited by a friend to attend a meeting. The coalition is a Diamond Valley organization that develops projects that help build healthy communities while supporting wellness.

“I was amazed at the amount of stuff that was going on that I didn’t know about,” she said. “I thought what a good venue to be involved with and know more of what was going on in the community.”

Bates also assists with fundraising and planning initiatives for the Foothills Lions Club Spray Park and various fitness and nutrition programs in Turner Valley School. In addition to being an educational assistant and having children attend the school, Bates helps to bring fitness programs like zoomba and yoga into the school and initiated walking Wednesdays where the entire school walks together one day a week and nutrition month to provide education on healthy foods to students.


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