Hay River said goodbye to Linda Carter earlier this month, a well-known and celebrated resident who, along with her family, has added to the quality of life of locals for decades through her time and labour.

Those who spoke of Carter at a recent memorial service said she carried a unique trait of being able to turn ideas into action, and of her ability to overcome challenges to complete worthy projects.

Ensuring trick-or-treaters a maximum thrill at Halloween with her home-based haunted house or completing landscaping and beautification at the museum were among the thoughts and stories shared.

It’s hard not to take in all of the stories and memories of Carter and not think about how individuals have the ability to actively shape the world around us, to make it more enjoyable for everyone.

Over the Jan. 8-9 weekend, the Hay River Hub took a trip with Chuck Lirette, who oversees the ski club’s trails and facilities, and Carter’s spirit was still exemplified in the handful of volunteers who spent hours ensuring that a recreational jewel is available for the broader citizenry.

The cleanly manicured trails do not come without substantial effort. They have to be groomed and cleared regularly as snowfall comes or as trees and brush fall along the 10-kilometre route, especially during the off season.

Indeed, the passion and devotion to have a facility for youth and families to provide exercise, mental health support and fun during the long, dark winters is the key driver to ensuring we have a facility at all.

Because volunteers invest so much time and energy—often known as social capital—the municipality or the territorial government should come through and find solutions to ensure financial stability for the Hay River Ski Club.

Town of Hay River staff have stated in recent council meetings that the Town continues to work with the club to see if some of its operations and maintenance needs can be met, including in possible future capital funding.

Let’s hope that we can count on volunteers being supported with an announcement that will be key in financial stability for a true recreational treasure in town.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

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