I’ve accumulated a total of 182.25 hours of community service from January 1 to June 30. June has been my busiest month, as I’ve continued to volunteer with the Burlington Braves and PBW2. I also volunteered with the Walter Gretzky Street Hockey Tournament, Burlington Sound of Music Festival, and the Oh Canada! Ribfest in Waterdown. In total, I’ve volunteered 45 hours this month.
I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering at the Walter Gretzky Street Hockey Tournament two years in a row. Held at Lions Park in Brantford, Ontario, it attracts participants from Canada and the United States. Not only is it incredibly fun, it’s also for a good cause. Proceeds from the tournament support the good work of The Lung Association.
This year, I reprised my role as rink monitor. I was responsible for running the mini-rink and the hardest shot competition. There were many familiar faces, which is an indicator of just how much of a tradition this tournament has become in Brantford. It’s not uncommon to see entire families participate in the tournament!
People of all ages and skill levels participate in the Walter Gretzky Street Hockey Tournament. Local and international celebrities have been known to make an appearance. Kevin Smith (actor/director) has played in the tournament, and Walter Gretzky makes an appearance each year. The Guinness World Records have also recognized it as the largest street hockey tournament in the world!
In mid-June, I volunteered with the Burlington Sound of Music Festival. Over 200,000 people visit the festival annually, making it the largest free music festival in Canada. Not surprisingly, Festivals and Events Ontario (FEO) has voted the Sound of Music Festival as one of the Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario.
I attended the Sound of Music Festival as a visitor last year, and was really impressed by just how well it was organized. It’s one of the more progressive festivals in terms of its environmental program (e.g., waste collection, shuttle buses, and bike corrals), and it provides an opportunity to listen to musical acts across different genres. This year’s lineup included the likes of Doc Walker, Jully Black, and Big Wreck.
I was able to use my Smart Serve training to volunteer as a bartender at the licensed drinking area of the OLG Stage. My time was spent helping customer decide which drink they’d like to try. Nickel Brook Brewery was the official beer sponsor of the Sound of Music, so they had several of their craft beers on tap. I also served wine and other alcoholic beverages.
Waterdown’s Oh Canada! Ribfest is another event I’ve volunteered with in consecutive years. As someone that grew up in Flamborough, I was excited to come back and volunteer at the festival. Last year I was a bartender at one of the beer tents. This year, I was a parking lot attendant.
Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Flamborough AM and the Rotary Club of Waterdown, this four-day festival features music, a children’s carnival, fireworks, community groups, and rib vendors. Most importantly, it raises funds for the many local and international charities, projects, and humanitarian causes supported by the Rotary Club of Flamborough AM and the Rotary Club of Waterdown.