Pat Lytton is well-known in the Interlakes community, having volunteered for many organizations over the past 40 years. (Kelly Sinoski photo, 100 Mile Free Press).

Pat Lytton is well-known in the Interlakes community, having volunteered for many organizations over the past 40 years. (Kelly Sinoski photo, 100 Mile Free Press).

Prime Time profile: Pat Lytton

Volunteering a way to connect

Pat Lytton likes to tell people that “when you live somewhere long enough they name a road after you.”

Indeed, the Sheridan Lake woman is a familiar face in her community, where she has lived for 45 years – on Lytton Road – and spent nearly as long giving back. Her volunteerism has a long reach, from Bible study classes to the Bridge Lake Fall Fair, Interlakes Cattlebelles and the Interlakes Rodeo.

“I just like being part of the community and doing things,” Lytton, 71, said. “It’s a great community out here really because there are a lot of volunteers here, besides me. It makes me feel good. I feel like I’m helping something and keeping our community going a little bit.”

READ MORE: Prime Time: Staying connected crucial for healthy aging

Community involvement came naturally to Lytton, a former teacher at Bridge Lake Elementary. When a colleague introduced her to the Lutheran Church, she jumped in, becoming the financial secretary and running Bible studies once a week at school. A few years later, she joined the Interlakes Cattlebelles and is still a member of the organization, one of the last of its kind in B.C.

As a rancher who studied agriculture, the Cattlebelles was the perfect fit for Lytton, who is still working to promote “all forms of agriculture, not just beef” to keep the organization relevant today. It’s a cause close to her heart, along with the annual Bridge Lake Fall Fair, which the Cattlebelles restarted after two main organizers died in a tractor accident. When the fair became its own organization, it took Lytton with it.

“You get involved in the community when you’ve been here that long,” said Lytton, who raised four children and is also involved in the Interlakes Rodeo and coordinates the non-denominational Kids Space bible study group at the Interlakes Hall. “Sometimes in the summertime when you get Kids Space and Vacation (Bible Study) and rodeo and Fair Fair, I think ‘oh boy.’ They all come at once so it keeps you pretty busy.”

But it’s the way she likes it. When everything was postponed this year due to COVID, Lytton decided to rip out her chimney, start a bathroom renovation and plant a huge garden.

“It’s allowing me to get a lot more done around here,” she said.

But she misses her social circles. The church’s quilting bee, for instance, which has donated 102 quilts to world relief, has a “lot of tops to finish.”

“We used to meet at church every Tuesday. It was like an old quilting bee, a lot of fun,” Lytton said. “It’s really important that you have an organization you can belong to. Not only are you giving to the community as a volunteer but you have someone to connect with.”

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