Heidi Meier has loved being a part of the South Cariboo community ever since she first settled in Lone Butte 27 years ago. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Heidi Meier has loved being a part of the South Cariboo community ever since she first settled in Lone Butte 27 years ago. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Volunteer fills the void in Lone Butte

Heidi Meier loves volunteering in her community

Heidi Meier never leaves a volunteer spot unfilled.

Whether it’s the Lone Butte 4-H or the Lone Butte-Horse Lake Community Hall, Meier is always giving her time to the community she has called home since 1995. She is currently the Lone Butte 4-H Club A-Leader and the newly elected president of the Lone Butte-Horse Lake Community Association.

“Volunteering is just one of the best ways to give back. It doesn’t cost me anything but my time and I have the time to give,” Meier, 49, said. “I just like to see these things be available to everyone in the community and if it means a little bit of my time, I’m happy to do that.”

Settling down in Lone Butte suited Meier, who never really had a hometown as she was the daughter of a travelling RCMP officer. Although she was able to see a lot of “our amazing province” as she grew up, she said she was happy to put down some roots, especially to raise her children.

The entire South Cariboo gives off a sense of “hometown friendliness,” she added, with small businesses and volunteer groups looking out for everyone

“We were able to go to new places, meet new friends and quickly involve ourselves in the community,” Meier said of her upbringing. “Having said that, I’ve enjoyed staying in one place for the length of time we’ve been here. I love this community, it’s a great place to raise my own children.”

She started volunteering in Lone Butte when her eldest daughter Hannah was six, and she signed her up for the Lone Butte 4-H Club. Hannah is still an active member of the club 11 years later, joined by her younger sister Kelly. Meier said the club has taught her two daughters responsibility, organization and communication skills. She’s especially proud that her daughters can stand in front of a large crowd and speak comfortably about a topic of their choice.

While club members elect their own president, vice-president and treasurer, there is still a core of adult volunteer leaders who guide and assist them throughout the year. This includes the A-Leader, the B-Leader and project leaders for the club’s various projects.

READ MORE: Lone Butte 4-H sets youth up for the future

“I really do enjoy it. One of my greatest joys with 4-H is watching those young shy children come to us as a brand new member and flourish,” Meier said. “Every child has the ability to be the best they can possibly be and it’s different for every child but I enjoy seeing the change by the end of the year to even 10 years later.”

Meier said she will likely continue volunteering with the club, though not as the leader, when her girls age out because she loves being involved in her community.

She’s also taking on new roles. In December, she was elected president of the community association, succeeding her friend Natalie Sass. It was a natural evolution for Meier, who decided to sit on the board six years ago when the entire board announced it was retiring. With no board members on the association, the Lone Butte Community Hall would have had to close which neither Sass nor Meier wished to see.

At that time, Meier ran for secretary and later served as treasurer while Sass became president.

“They needed help and I felt I could give them some of my time and help but it also brought me to another aspect of my community that before I didn’t really know existed. In hindsight, I’m sad I didn’t know it existed because … we could have happily been helping and participating in the activities that go on at the Lone Butte Community Hall.”

Meier said she now feels like the spokeswoman for the community hall. She hopes that this year will see the return of the clubs’ keystone events including the senior-focused Cabin Fever Lunch in February, an Easter Egg Hunt in April, Lone Butte Rocks in July, Trunk or Treating in October and Dinner with Santa in December. She said she’s also open to new ideas, which can be pitched by the public at the association’s regular meetings on the second Tuesday of each month.

“I think the community hall can be a grounding place for any community and I think it’s important for it to be there.”



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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Heidi Meier has loved being a part of the South Cariboo community ever since she first settled in Lone Butte 27 years ago. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Heidi Meier has loved being a part of the South Cariboo community ever since she first settled in Lone Butte 27 years ago. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Heidi Meier has loved being a part of the South Cariboo community ever since she first settled in Lone Butte 27 years ago. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Heidi Meier has loved being a part of the South Cariboo community ever since she first settled in Lone Butte 27 years ago. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)