Ingrid Meyer knows just about everyone in her home community of 108 Mile Ranch.
That’s because she has made a point of volunteering and giving back, ever since she attended her first meeting of the 108 Mile Ranch Community Association.
She became so hooked, she then joined the 108 Mile Ranch Lions Club and the 100 Mile House and District Historical Society and became a director of the Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre. She also started the Share a Meal campaign in 2013.
“I just love to help out in the community,” she said.
Giving back came naturally to Meyer, who immigrated to the South Cariboo from Germany with her husband in 2002. Shortly after arriving, they set up their business, Ingrid’s Footcare and Rainer’s Health House in the 108. Rainer does massage and acupuncture while Meyer does footcare and reflexology.
Meyer got into that line of work in part because she can empathize with her patients. She was born with two dislocated hips that weren’t noticed until she was a teenager, necessitating many surgeries and three different hip replacements to correct.
“When you are little you run and do a lot of things. My body compensated it but the older I got the more it became a problem,” Meyer said. “I just took care of myself and had a lot of physiotherapy and massage therapy.”
The couple still operates the business, but that hasn’t hampered Meyer’s volunteer work.
She realized early on that nothing happens by itself in the 108. After serving 10 years as a director of the association, Meyer became chair three years ago. It’s her main role now, although she continues to help the histoical society organize events such as its Canada Day celebration.
The association owns the hall, maintains the Greenbelt trails and beaches around the lake, and puts on community events every year. This requires volunteers and grants and she wanted to help on both fronts. The big project ahead is renovating the backside of the 108’s Community Hall and making it safer. She is currently selling raffle tickets for a draw on May 9.
“As soon as we can open our hall, I want to have a big business fair and crafter’s market outside,” Meyer said. “Then every year we do a big 108 Mile Oktoberfest, so these things are all in the planning stages.”
As chair Meyer has also brought back the 108 Mile Ranch citizen of the year award, and next year she wants to do the same to honour businesses.
“(With volunteering, I like) the friendliness and what comes back. I don’t think I ever run into anyone being not nice to me and then of course the more friendly people are, the more you want to give back,” Meyer said. “I’m just a community person.”
When asked if she was thinking of retiring, Meyer laughed and said maybe in the next two to three years. In the meantime, however, she said she intends to continue to give back to the community in any way she can.
“I always say the people brought us here. I never in my life met so many wonderful friendly accommodating people. When I first moved here I drove a really old car which broke down all the time. It’s never more than five minutes before people stopped and helped me,” said Meyer. “That’s just an incredible community we live in.”