VOLUNTEER: Ray Palmer, Wayne Tait, Col Maher, Mark McCosker, Paul Drake and Vince Nocente. (NOTE: Taken prior to social distancing laws)
VOLUNTEER: Ray Palmer, Wayne Tait, Col Maher, Mark McCosker, Paul Drake and Vince Nocente. (NOTE: Taken prior to social distancing laws)

Shining light on our community heroes

WITH volunteers across the country being acknowledged for this week’s National Volunteer Week, The Border Post has taken the opportunity to highlight those who go above and beyond for the community.

In a region full of people who put their community first, volunteers aren’t hard to come by, we talk to several that play their part in the region.

When asked what volunteering meant to him, Lions Club of Stanthorpe president Wayne Tait said it was hard to put into words.

“That is just what we do,” Mr Tait said.

He said he and the current 36 active members strive to do as much as they can, whenever they can, to give back to the community.

“That’s why we are called Lions.”

For him personally, it's a sense of gratitude knowing he has given something back.

“I try to put as much time and effort into the community as I possibly can. That is just how we work,” Mr Tait said.

As for Gracious Giving owner Debbie Wilmot, she manages to find the time to volunteer around the operation of her store saying to her, the community is everything.

“I grew up here, was born and bred in Stanthorpe,” Ms Wilmot said.

“If I can make a difference and help someone in any way possible then that is what I’m going to do.”

Donating her time to the Stanthorpe Cancer Support Group, Stanthorpe Sports Association, Gremlins Rugby League Club and the Zonta Club of Stanthorpe, Ms Wilmot said it’s the least she can do.

Gracious Giving owner Debbie Wilmot.
Gracious Giving owner Debbie Wilmot.

“The community is family and you look after your family,” Ms Wilmot said.

While the motivation behind her work remains the same, the reasons as to why she volunteers vary between the different groups.

“I want the kids getting outside and active as much as possible,” Ms Wilmot said.

“I have had family members that have passed away from cancer. If I can make it easier for people to go through that then it’s worthwhile to me.

“I really enjoy the fellowship and companionships from Zonta. I like the charities they work with and how they support and empower young girls.”

For long time Rotary members David and Judy Lee, the desire to help the less fortunate is the main driver for their voluntary work.

With the pair being members of the club for 48 years, Mr Lee said helping those who need it most has always been the priority.

“Our biggest work in volunteering has been with the people of Fiji,” Mr Lee said.

“We have done an international project with Rotary in the last few weeks where we sent a 40-foot container filled with school-related items to students.

“We were fortunate to have sent the container before the virus came about.”

With the drought far from over, Mr Lee said that is what the pair will be spending their upcoming time on.

“We will be distributing water to people who need it in the district,” he said.

“There is still a need for water in a lot of places in the community.”

At 83 years of age, he’s not letting that slow him down.

“I am going to continue to volunteer and help out my community for as long as I can.”

Stanthorpe Border Post

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