No matter where you go in the world, organizers of many community events regularly depend on their volunteers.

That is especially true in the Okanagan, where everything from small fundraisers to major sporting events need people to step forward to give back to the community where they live.

Big White Ski Resort, for example, has numerous events planned during both the summer and winter that depend on on-hill and other Central Okanagan residents for volunteer hours.

“I know it’s cliché, but volunteers really are the heart and soul of all these types of events. No matter how big or how small, our events rely on the generosity and passion of the volunteers who support them,” says Josh Palmer, the resort’s communications manager.

“We’re working hard to bring top-tier events to the resort — events such as Free Ride Days, which feature the FMB Gold-level Big White Invitational Slopestyle presented by Five Ten and hosted by Tom van Steenbergen. This event is an incredibly important mountain bike event as it gives athletes the opportunity to earn enough points to qualify for the FMB Diamond event at Crankworx in Whistler,” he said.

“There is only one other Gold-level event in North America, which means we have athletes flying in from all over the world to compete.

“What is more incredible than the event is the 200-plus volunteers that make the event possible. From course marshals to event cleanup, we simply cannot do it without them.”

Big White needs 204 volunteers for Freeride Days on July 11-14 and 12 volunteers for L’Alpe de Grand Blanc Road Race on July 21. Those interested should email volunteer@bigwhite.com.

Nathalie Long, cycling/snow sports team leader at Mountain Equipment Co-op in Kelowna, is looking for volunteers for the MEC Kelowna Okanagan Trail Race at Big White on July 7. The race has a range of distances from five to 12 to 22 to 50 kilometres.

“If you have a passion for being outdoors and giving out some sweet high fives, then we would love to have you helping out our racers,” she said. “This is also a great opportunity for students looking to volunteer for community service hours.”

She needs volunteers from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for course marshalling, pre-race sweep or post-race sweep, aid station support and finish line helper.

“You will be part of an amazing team that includes other volunteers and MEC staff. Volunteer shifts vary in length, but a minimum five hours is required. All volunteers will be awarded a complimentary entry into a 2019 MEC Kelowna Okanagan Trail Race event after they have successfully completed their volunteer shift,” she said.

For more information about volunteering at MEC events, email events.west@mec.ca or nathalie.long@mec.ca. Include information on any mobility or access restrictions.

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