The Strathmore Stampede runs on volunteers, and Darilyn McKenna is one of the most dedicated community members that helps keep it going.
McKenna has been a volunteer since 2010 and has gone back for every year the Stampede was active.
For McKenna, the kindness of the Stampede organizers is a big reason she's happy to return every year.
"The people who run the committees who are responsible for the volunteers, I find everyone really pleasant. Everyone is very nice to deal with," she said.
McKenna has experience volunteering in many other places, and says the Strathmore Stampede treats its volunteers really well. While some places may try to take advantage of your time, McKenna said the Stampede staff appreciates it.
"I find at Strathmore there's always someone coming around asking 'are you doing ok, do you need a break, do you need some water.' There's always someone thanking you, and people who come to the stampede, I often get people thanking us as they're leaving and other volunteers thanking each other. People seem appreciative of what you're doing."
Volunteers are vital for large events like the Stampede to operate. For McKenna, she said it's nice to be so involved in such a big community event.
"Most events, without volunteers, these things aren't going to go. Or they're going to be so darn expensive, most people couldn't afford to go to them. It's the volunteers that keep these things really going. It gives you a connection with the community as a whole."
So what keeps McKenna returning every year? One aspect is seeing some other volunteers return, and the appreciation the community shows for the hard work the volunteers put in is another big factor.
"Just the general overall nice feeling you get for coming day after day and being there, and most people just seem really appreciative. I think it's just pleasant to think about going back every year."
If you're thinking about volunteering but may be on the fence about it, McKenna says you should join the team. She says there's something for everyone, and the Stampede would be happy to have you.
"Don't hesitate, just give them a phone call or go down to the office near the committee centre there, there's a whole bunch of different areas they could use volunteers in."
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