A Gift to the Community
The ultimate volunteer and Maple Ridge community member, Tom Cameron, moved to his beloved community in the mid nineteen eighties from Kelowna. As a member of different branches of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 88 prior to moving to Maple Ridge, his incredible work ethic and extensive experience immediately spoke for itself when he became involved with the Maple Ridge Remembrance Day ceremonies as the parade marshal. Tom being a dedicated individual, who believes in supporting his community, was also involved with the Golden Ears Kiwanis Club, and the Elks Club.
In 1990 Tom branched out into the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Country Fair, now known as the Country Fest, as the director. Due to his commitment and drive, Tom quickly worked his way up to become the president of the event. In 1997 he was approached by a member of the Legion Branch 88 to assist with the Christmas Hamper Society. Tom immediately accepted and brought Lorraine Bates on board. The two co-chair the society and help hundreds of families in need have a Merry Christmas every year.
Tom Cameron also coordinates and takes very hands on approach to other countless events such as, Ghost Ridge, and the tree planting initiative on the Albion Fairgrounds. Regardless, of how much he does though, he never takes the credit saying that “It’s all the volunteers. We have the best volunteers in western Canada.”
In 2005 Tom Cameron was nominated for Citizen of the Year as an outstanding member who has given tremendously to the community of Maple Ridge. The award comes as no shock, given that Tom has spent most of his life dedicated to making his community an enjoyable place to live.
When asked about what his drive was for continuing to give back, Tom simply said “It’s my hobby; it’s really not that different from collecting stamps.” Although he shies away from any praise, Tom’s good hearted nature comes out when he asked why volunteerism is a good thing and he replied “If you believe that there is someway to help people then you should go ahead and do it”.
Story by Bailey Graham