Remaining active in the community is an important part of staying healthy and happy, something that Lac la Hache resident Judy Boehm has known ever since she arrived in the community in 1996.
At 70 years of age, Judy is still volunteering and working in the community like she has been since she first moved to Lac la Hache from Calgary over 20 years ago. Judy said she and her husband Ron moved there because his father Frank lived in the area and was looking to sell his house but keep it in the family.
It was Judy who suggested she and Ron buy it, which is a move they haven’t regretted since. The couple enjoys the community and the chance to camp in the area.
Judy first got involved with the local social fabric through square dancing where she met and got to know a bunch of locals. Shortly afterwards she began volunteering at the local OAPO as secretary-treasurer, started helping out Barb Hansen with bingo games and eventually took over running the Lac la Hache thrift store, which she continues to do to this day. She also helps out the Lac La Hache Historical Society and the South Cariboo Garlic Festival whenever she gets a chance.
“I’ve always been the type of person that needs to do something,” Judy said. “I’ve been volunteering almost ever since I came up here.”
She said she personally really gets a lot of joy from volunteering and remarked she’s not ready to fully retire just yet as she feels great. Getting the chance to meet new people and interact with those she knows well is one of the most rewarding aspects of volunteering, Judy added, especially at the thrift store.
“I think it’s important you keep in touch with people and you can help them out if they’re in trouble or just need someone to talk to,” Judy said. “I think that’s what is helping me stay motivated as well, being able to be active with the people of Lac la Hache and the surrounding areas.”
The people she’s gotten to know through the thrift store and helping out with bingo are almost akin to family, Judy remarked. Getting out in the community and volunteering is something she feels everyone should do as it not only helps others but also tends to help yourself as well. Staying active and not sitting at home getting distraught is an important part of keeping yourself healthy, Judy added.
Hopefully, Judy said, she’ll be able to open up the thrift store again soon but said that due to COVID-19 she doesn’t know when that will be. Judy would like to thank all the people who volunteer both in Lac la Hache and around the world, adding there’s always room to volunteer somewhere.
She asks that everyone stays safe out in the world during these uncertain times.