Volunteers vital to a great community

Valerie Seatter and Michelle Rottier preside over the dessert buffet. (Picture: Marianne Stamm)

Valerie Seatter and Michelle Rottier preside over the dessert buffet. (Picture: Marianne Stamm)


Outside, the first flurries of the season drift over the darkening hamlet. Folks stomp the snow from their feet: “Cold out, isn’t it!” Inside the community hall a buzz of conversation greets us, mingled with the enticing aroma of roast beef. Long rows of tables decked in orange plastic tablecloth are already crowded with guests enjoying Dapp’s annual Harvest Supper.

Brian Trueblood takes my money – $9 for those 13 years and older, $5 for 7- 12 year olds; six years and under are free. “Back in Alberta, are you?” he asks. The Truebloods have farmed in the Dapp area since 1912. His mother taught several generations of Dapp children to read before retiring some years ago.

The ad in the Westlock News said supper would be served from 5 to 7 p.m. Brian says they started at 4:30 already, because there were people lined up waiting. Many of the folks are seniors coming from Westlock. $9 is a good price for a full meal with coffee and dessert. Dapp serves a great spread – besides the traditional roast beef, ham, mashed potatoes, turnips, corn and gravy with pie there is a salad buffet with pasta salads, beet salad and vegetable salads. The dessert buffet includes trifle, brownies and carrot cake.

County Councillor Mike Cook carves the roast beef. Pastor Ken Stange presides over the mashed potatoes and turnips. A community harvest supper is truly a community affair. It takes a lot of people to put on this supper. Everyone is a volunteer – from the cooks with flushed faces stirring huge pots of food to the farmer waiters moving up and down the rows with thermoses of coffee and tea.

Jacquie Rottier and Louis Primeau make sure County Councillor Mike Cook carves the roast just right! (Picture: Marianne Stamm)

Jacquie Rottier and Louis Primeau make sure County Councillor Mike Cook carves the roast just right! (Picture: Marianne Stamm)

It’s the volunteers that make a community the warm welcoming place people want to live in. Whether it is baseball, curling, the senior’s hall,
4-H, or hockey – it’s all run by people that volunteer their time; people that believe in the value of community.

The first flush of guests is rising to leave when I arrive at 5:30. By the time I’m ready for dessert and coffee, the servers and kitchen helpers are sitting down with their own meal. Everyone can relax now, visit with neighbours and catch up on the latest news after a busy harvest. It’s been a good day.

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