The Lake Cowichan Lions Club meeting had a surprise visitor on Nov.12 as Joan Hieta made an unannounced appearance and was bearing a gift for the group. Hieta was at the meeting — representing the Great Lake Walk Society — to present a perpetual award, a Michaela Davidson print, to the Lions Club for all the years of being the Last Walker Vehicle during the Great Lake Walk.
“The Great Lake Walk is all about volunteers,” said Hieta. “Without them, there would be no walk. Thank you Lions Club. “ she added.
Sam Beldessi was surprised by the presentation and said it was a real shot in the arm for the club to receive the recognition for their efforts. “When you are the last walker vehicle it’s your job to watch that the last walker doesn’t get in trouble and make sure they get to the next stop,” said Beldessi. “It makes for a long day,” he says, “We usually start at 5 a.m. and are still going at eight o’clock in the evening.” Sam says nobody minds the long hours as they get to meet some interesting people from around the world taking part in the walk. In 2011 they had an interesting chat with two walkers from Libya who were attending Pearson College. The Lions Club is known for their volunteer efforts in Lake Cowichan, having recently collected 9600 pairs of old eye glasses that were repaired and donated to less fortunate countries.
The 2013 Great Lake Walk will be on September 21.