When Bob Sales first volunteered at the age of 18 years to help coach the ladies softball in Kersley, he had no idea it would become a lifeline commitment to helping others.
“I never played serious ball but I’ve always enjoyed sports,” he said.
“And you meet such wonderful people.”
Bob is one of two nominees for the 2014 Volunteer Citizen of the Year.
“I’m pretty hesitant of my nomination because their are so many great volunteers in Quesnel,” he said.
“So many of our community events happen because of the all the wonderful volunteers.”
In the 1970s Bob was coaxed by his sister to help with coaching, umpiring and looking after the fields for the intermediate girls softball league and in the 1980s switched to the Babe Ruth league where he also coached, umpired and helped coordinate the league.
“My son played in the Babe Ruth league,” Bob said with a smile.
His wife Marje, an enthusiastic volunteer in her own right, joined Bob to help coordinate both the Babe Ruth and the Little Leagues which Bob had also been volunteering with.
Again he said what made baseball, a sport he already loved, so wonderful for the volunteers was the kids and the other great people you met and often formed life-long friendships.
Bob was also an avid supporter of the Quesnel Millionaires hockey team and worked for many years to promote the club and was part of the group who finally bought the hockey team to try and preserve that calibre of hockey in Quesnel.
During the 1990s he was one of the first volunteer directors for SHAREBC, a resource-based non-profit group designed to ensure a balance between the forestry, mining and ranching industries with environmental interests.
Once the Millionaires were sold and the Kangaroos were resurrected in Quesnel, Bob was there volunteering with the team.
For the last three years he has been a volunteer with the Knights of Columbus helping with the concession at the arena.
However, possibly his finest volunteer effort so far is with Better@Home, an organization dedicated to helping seniors in their homes.
“I know I shouldn’t say this but volunteering with B@H is my favourite,” he said.
“This work is so important and its a great organization. Once, again I’m meeting a lot of great people. I’m very proud of the program and the good work they do.”
Also for the past few years, Bob has assisted with the firewood project, a fundraiser for the All Star, Bantam and Midget Minor Hockey teams.
As for his nomination, Bob is very proud to be nominated and hopes in some way this will highlight all the other volunteers in the community.
The 2014 Volunteer Citizen of the Year will be announced at the Gala evening April 21 at the Quesnel Legion. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m.
Tickets are $25 available at City Hall.