LAC LA BICHE - Stella Scott’s name came up as a good choice for a feature story during November’s Volunteer Awareness Week. It’s taken that long to pin the soon-to-be 87-year old Lac La Biche woman down for an interview.
By her own admission, she’s a busy volunteer who would prefer to spend a full day behind fundraising tables or kitchen counters rather than a few hours here and a few hours there.
“I’m not even getting out of the house for three hours. If I’m gonna go sell tickets I’m gonna go from like 10 to 4,” she said — which is just what she did at the recent Lac La Biche Festival of Trees event, the latest in a long-list of local and regional events she supports.
Since moving to Lac La Biche in 1953, Stella has enjoyed being an active member in dozens of associations, volunteer groups, even serving as the President of the Lac La Biche Royal Canadian Legion McGrane Branch 28 Ladies Auxiliary.
Admitting she’s slowed down a little, more than half way through her eighth decade, Stella says she continues to enjoy the time she spends as a volunteer — especially the socializing. But over the years, she admits, that aspect of things has changed a little.
“Now with the volunteering, it's a little different. Throughout the years, seeing new faces and socializing have been the highlight of volunteering,” she told Lakeland This Week, explaining that as she gets older and her friends have come and gone, the community is a bit different now.
“When I came to Lac La Biche, I got involved with the Pow Wow Days which I loved. I got involved in everything because I like doing volunteering, I get to meet people and get out. Many people are not with us anymore though, and as the younger generation... we’ll…I’m not out there meeting them like I used to be.”
These days Stella spends her time organizing events at the Lacalta Lodge seniors home weekly—where she has volunteered with the residents for over 40 years, helping shape a strong community there, she said.
“I was very active in getting our seniors’ centre together to where we are now. I still volunteer at the Lodge once a week. Every Thursday I’m there for the residents. My friend Holly and I run bingo in the afternoon.”
Recently, said Scott there was a Christmas event at Lacalta where she got to enjoy the holiday festivities and participate in her other favourite activity; dancing.
"They had a Christmas party and they had a band playing country music which I love. They said well why don’t you come, so I went and we sat there and I wiggled my butt on the chair with a couple of the players—there are a few of them that love to dance but can’t anymore.”
For Stella a good attitude, socializing, always moving ... and a glass of wine or two ... has helped keep her active on the volunteer scene and in everyday life — even through the tough times, she said.
“I would have ladies come to my house twice a year and polish off a couple of bottles of wine, I’d have snacks and we would sing. But last year I lost six of those friends and only one of them was older than me, but life must go on.”
As another year approaches and with all the lessons learned, she said life is precious and you have to appreciate everything you have and give back as much as possible.
“I have food in the house and what I need. I thank the Lord daily for another day when I get up. I have nothing to complain about. I always say— even from my younger days—that I have had the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in-between in my almost 87 years of living.”