Below please find the full version of Kris Nanda’s “President’s Column” written for the most recent version of the RPR.

Volunteer- from Latin velle (to wish, will), from Indo-European “root” wel (to wish, will). That which is VOLUNTARY, done with VOLITION, is of the “heart”

Volunteering – making your community better by doing things freely (both in terms of finances and your will). The key is that it is an activity that you do to benefit others without anyone forcing you do so or in other words “from the heart.” As the 2016-17 Riverview Park Community Association (RPCA) Board begins its term, I am pleased that the members – both new and returning – all carry this spirit of community service. (We are after all “volunteers.”)

As I have noted in previous President’s columns, however, the Board cannot do everything on our own – we need help from others in the Riverview Park community for our endeavours to be successful. Nowhere has this been better demonstrated in the successful Fall Social& Silent Auction Fundraiser held November 6 at the Lebanese Palace restaurant (which you can read about elsewhere in this issue of the paper).

Many community members from outside of the Board stepped in to help us with all facets ranging from selling tickets, to soliciting donations, arranging the set up of tables and displays of donations, arranging the program schedule, selling 50-50 tickets, and serving as “runners” and “writers” and cashiers at the end of the evening. Without their help, the event would not have been the success it is – raising about $4000 for the RPCA to continue to serve local residents and the community – with approximately $2000 of the total going towards supporting a family of Syrian refugees preparing to come to Ottawa next year. The system of paying for donations and the cashier lines in particular went smoother than expected thanks to a large team of volunteers.

We still need more hands to help with some of our ongoing activities like serving on some of our Committees – Communications, Membership, Parks & Recreation, and Planning & Development or volunteering to be responsible for cleaning up one of our local parks twice a year. With a view to a smoother functioning system, the Board will be looking to better organize our volunteer and membership databases so people can be matched with the areas of interest and need. In the meantime, there are some activities such as the annual Carol sing at the Cancer Survivors’ Park that will not take place this year because not enough people stepped forward to lead.

What can we do for you?

To borrow from a radio jingle from a local business, “there’s a lot we do, what can we do for you?” The RPCA Board and our volunteers remain active on your behalf. We monitor local developments, communicate community concerns from your and your fellow residents to elected officials and city staff, host and attend Open Houses, organize fun activities, support a local soccer program and have an informative website.

But, at the first meeting of the new Board in November, members felt that it was important to canvass you as local residents to see what activities you would like us to do for Riverview Park. As there is only so much we can do it is important that our efforts and energy is focused on things that the community wants – and not spend precious time on activities that are not of interest. So please feel free to contact me at the email below (or talk to another Board member) if you have ideas. (That does not commit you to actually helping out, though we would certainly welcome more volunteers)

With your help, even though dark clouds may potentially loom South of the Border and elsewhere in the world, we can still work together to continue to make Riverview Park and our broader community a bright spot and an even more desirable place to live. Let us remember this thought and seek to make our little corner of the world even better as we approach the Christmas season with its message that sacrifice, voluntary gifts and service are a reminder that good shall ultimately overcome badly.

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It is not too late to join the RPCA — for just $10 your family can join the RPCA (your membership card gets you a 5% discount at Rona and two free tickets to an Ottawa Champions Baseball Game next year.) _________________________________________________________________________

Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017 is next year!  While Riverview Park is much younger (barely 60 years old), we are a well-established neighbourhood.  Perhaps there are some local residents out there who are interested in doing something special in and for Riverview Park and our neighbours in celebration? (A celebration/alumni homecoming for Riverview Alternative School is one such idea)

If you have some thoughts and/or are interested in helping organize an event or activity, please to drop me a line krpp1415@gmail.com) or show up to a future RPCA Board meeting – our next two meetings are on December 14 and January 11.

Check out our website at  https://rpca.wordpress.com/

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