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Rankin blessed with tireless volunteer base

The beat goes on in Rankin Inlet with a bevy of fundraisers for numerous sports and activities – and the amount of money raised, the generosity of the community, the sheer number of fundraising efforts on the go and the dedication of the people behind them continues to be mind blowing.

The month of October seems to have been one penny sale after another for various good causes in Rankin. |This past weekend delivered a treat for taste buds across the community when a fundraiser for Rankin Rock peewee hockey saw the McDonald’s Big Mac and cheeseburgers prepared and sold locally on Oct. 25 and 26.

The burgers sell out every time the fundraising promotion is held in Rankin.

And while their efforts totally depend on the generosity of the Rankin community, one rarely sees anyone within the small army of dedicated volunteers driving these fundraisers take any credit for their efforts.

That’s yet another wonderful aspect of the fundraising scene in Rankin Inlet, although the volunteers who make it all happen deserve some form of public recognition – and tons of it – for their dedication, drive and determination in reaching countless goals throughout the year.

In Rankin, fundraisers have become embedded in the fabric of daily life in the community, with everyone seemingly having silently accepted their role in the process.

Oh to be sure, as in any community, if one looks hard enough they are sure to identify a small group of people who are the kings and queens of volunteerism and fundraising efforts in the hamlet.

These good folks coach, manage and co-ordinate just about every sports team in the community, and they continually volunteer their time to plan, organize, prepare for and work at the various fundraisers to do everything possible to ensure their success.

They also arrange ongoing transportation for their players, search and apply to various programs that offer an exchange between two communities, and identify and register their teams at tournaments across the land that allow young Rankin athletes to compete with kids their own age and skill level, as well as exploring numerous parts of Canada they might otherwise never get the chance to see.

They also, of course, act as chaperones and accompany the kids on their road trips.

If a trip is the away part of an exchange program between Rankin and another community, our local volunteers must then plan the other community’s trip to Rankin, making sure everyone is taken care of before they arrive. Then they plan a number of activities to keep the visiting kids and their chaperones occupied and constantly having a good time.

This is no small order. The logistics of many exchange programs can be more than a little daunting, with big bucks and countless hours of time both necessary for the program’s success, which is not always guaranteed.

It is not for the faint of heart.

Yet, in Rankin, with the odd exception, as soon as one longtime volunteer tires and steps aside for a respite, another pops-up out of the fog banks to take their place.

And the wheels keep turning.

I’m sure every Kivalliq community has its own small band of super volunteers, but the sporting scene in Rankin Inlet is as demanding as it is successful.

It pushes local volunteers to reach unprecedented levels of fundraising year after year so every team has the opportunity to compete and follow-up any success they enjoy during any given season.

And year after year these volunteers deliver for their young athletes to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

It is a volunteer base that, for the most part, Rankin Inlet is truly blessed to have as its own.