By Karlene Skretting
Westwind Weekly News
Did you attend Heritage Days in Raymond last year? What about a recent Ag Society or Chamber of Commerce event? You may not have seen her, but chances are pretty high that Pam Stewart was not only amongst the crowd, but she likely played a key role organizing the event and ensuring its success.
Despite her humble nature, and behind the scenes approach, Stewart is often the first person to pop into Raymond resident’s minds when they think of local volunteers, so much so that she has become synonymous with Raymond volunteerism.
“She is literally involved in everything. Anytime there is an activity, she is the first one to put up her hand,” said Hugh Simpson, Raymond community services director.
Stewart has a full time job as a customer service manager at the Raymond ATB bank, but she doesn’t let that slow down her volunteer contributions. She is an important part of the annual community pancake breakfast, the Raymond Chamber of Commerce Trade Show, the Ol’ Fashion Christmas, the Heritage Days street fair and the Ag Society’s Fall Fair, to name but a few. She also volunteers as treasurer on numerous boards and committees.
ATB encourages their employees to be involved in the community and is proud of her involvement and her exemplary participation.
We try to get everyone involved, but Pam takes that message and runs with it further than most,” said Patrick Lapointe, Raymond ATB Branch Manager.
Volunteering is part of Pam’s makeup right to her core, her husband Bob shared that her driving desire is to simply help people. She enjoys to serve.
Her cheerful personality, ability to listen and work collaboratively, her contagious smile and confidence to lead make her well equipped for the large role she plays in the community. Coupled with her desire to continually improve events and her never-ending list of new ideas, she is the keystone to Raymond’s volunteer base and often recruits and organizes others.
“What I love about her is that she is in charge of so many things, but you never really feel like she is in charge because of the way she treats people,” added Simpson.
It is through volunteering that Pam has made many good friends and grew to feel part of the Raymond community, having been born in New Westminster, B.C.
“If she is involved, it is going to be perfect,” said Simpson. “If I could put her in charge of everything, I would do it,” he added with a chuckle and smile.
Pam is reliable. She will make the time to attend meetings and events, often being one of the first to arrive and the last to leave, doing all the behind the scenes work that is often taken for granted.
And along the way she always manages to make time for her three children, and their spouses, even if that includes occasionally dragging them along to help at events. Her desire to give back and volunteer has rubbed off on her family.
“Pam puts volunteer work as one of the priorities in her life and the community has benefited so much from the work of that lady,” said Cory Rasmussen, Raymond Chamber of Commerce president.
In 2013 Pam was nominated by the Town of Raymond for the Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards. The awards recognize extraordinary Albertans whose volunteer efforts have contributed to the well-being of their community and fellow community members.
And just recently, the ATB Lending Hands Program, presented Pam with $500 to donate to an organization or club of her choice, for accumulating over 450 hours of community service in Raymond. Pam intends to donate the money to the Raymond Museum where she currently serves as treasurer, shared Lapointe.