RCRG - Blog - Once In a Lifetime
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More than 100 young leaders have graduated from the Youth Now program.
Each year, over 100 non-profit professionals attend our training opportunities.
Over two dozen non-profit organizations have participated in the Youth Now program.
The CCRR provides nearly 400 child care referrals per year.
On average, the CCRR hosts 30 workshops and training courses each year.
Every year, over 500 child care providers and parents attend CCRR training opportunities.
Every year, RCRG completes over 3,000 grocery orders for local seniors.
Nearly 300 seniors make use of our Better at Home services.
Our volunteer drivers complete more than 1,200 trips annually.
At least 350 people per year find a volunteer position using our Volunteer Match program.
Close to 500 volunteers support RCRG’s programs and services.
Volunteers contribute nearly 23,000 hours to our organization each year.
Each holiday season, the Richmond Christmas Fund helps more than 2,200 low-income residents.
Every year, the Christmas Fund provides over 600 children with toys, books, and sports equipment.
The Richmond Christmas Fund was first started by Ethel Tibbits, in the 1930s.
The number of Neighbourhood Small Grants we’ve awarded has increased every year since 2014.
Block parties are the most popular type of Neighbourhood Small Grant project.
Every year, the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre serves over 7,300 local women.
The Richmond Women’s Resource Centre currently offers 16 programs and services.
Nearly 60 volunteers support the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre, contributing nearly 2,500 hours per year.
Richmond is home to over 350 registered charities, all of which rely on volunteer support.
There are nearly 13 million volunteers across Canada.
International Volunteer Day is celebrated throughout the world on December 5.
There are 35 volunteer centres in British Columbia.
In 2016, the Foundation awarded 10 grants to non-profit organizations, worth a combined $59,000.
The Foundation manages $4.5 million in nearly 50 Forever Funds, returning CPI plus 4%.
In 2017, the Foundation distributed $198,000 as community and Canada 150 grants, scholarships, and charitable disbursements.
Foundation activities result in the enhancement of our community and residents’ sense of belonging.
ROCA has raised over $21,000 for local charities.
ROCA has performed its Elementary School Concert Series to over 8,000 students.
ROCA provides mentoring and life changing opportunities for aspiring musicians.
The Richmond Arts Coalition was founded in November of 2005.
RAC co-produces the ArtRich exhibition every two years!
RAC highlights Richmond's arts events in a monthly email.
The Richmond Music School is the oldest not-for-profit music school in Richmond.
The Richmond Music School offers affordable music lessons through its diverse programming.
Our students performed 40 hours of music to welcome the Olympic athletes to the 2010 Olympic Games.
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RCRG Blog

Once In a Lifetime

Published February 13, 2020

By Ryan Luetzen, Manager, Resource Development & Communications

I'm definitely not the right person to be writing this, because my involvement was tertiary, at best. I was an observer, more than an active participant. Still, I was there, and saw firsthand how an incredible group of people accomplished what seemed, both at the time and in retrospect, an impossible feat.

As we mark a decade since the 2010 Winter Olympics, all of Greater Vancouver is awash in nostalgia. And for good reason. It was, as the cliché goes, a once in a lifetime experience. The memories, in some cases, may be rose-tinted, but that doesn't make them any less real. Certainly, it doesn't change how we feel about them. And most of us feel unapologetically proud.

RCRG - back then, it was Volunteer Richmond - was contracted by the City of Richmond to recruit, screen, train, and manage the 500+ volunteers who would staff the Richmond Ozone celebration site, at Minoru Park. 

It was a multi-year project that began well before the Olympics, even before the Richmond Oval had been built. We had never done anything like it - not on that scale, not on that level. It was terrifying and exhilarating. Failure wasn't an option, but success was by no means guaranteed.

Our 2010 staff team slowly grew - big enough to recruit hundreds of volunteers, but small enough to remain close-knit. While I helped when I could, I had other responsibilities at the organization, and was often busy elsewhere. 

That didn't stop me from being a fan. I watched and cheered from my front row seat as the 2010 team hit milestone after milestone.

A big one came in February 2009, when the Richmond Oval hosted Winterfest, one of the first major events at the facility. The volunteers that weekend had all been recruited and trained by our 2010 team and, a year later, would form part of the volunteer workforce at the Ozone.

Another milestone was the opening of our short-lived but spectacular Community Information & Volunteer Centre, a booth - built from granite, I believe - we set up in Richmond Centre, to provide the public with information on Olympic-related volunteer opportunities.

I remember, closer to the Games, spending an afternoon in the Brighouse Pavilion, where I helped hand out jackets to Ozone volunteers. The jackets, coloured light and dark purple, were unique to Richmond. During the Games, they were a uniform, and afterwords, a souvenir, commemorating our community's role in the Olympic experience. If you go for a walk, you'll still see people wearing them today.

The Games themselves were hectic, with our 2010 team working pretty much around the clock. Within the Ozone, there were dozens of positions that needed to be filled, and our staff had to ensure that every volunteer was well-supported and confident in their role.

Canada's sporting achievements during the Games were, for most people, the highlight, and rightfully so. For us, however, every medal win happened as a backdrop. Our attention was focused on the Ozone. It had to be. Our volunteers were out there, representing our agency, representing the City of Richmond, representing our community. We were there for them, and they came through for us. Their passion, their dedication, and their enthusiasm made the Ozone a success.

On February 12 of this year, members of the 2010 team got together at Boston Pizza, a favourite hangout during the Games. While several of us have remained with RCRG, most have moved on to other positions and opportunities. Ten years ago, however, we were all involved in something special. It transformed our organization, and left an indelible mark on our community. 

I was part of it, to a degree, but mostly, I witnessed it. The teamwork, the camaraderie, the sense of pride and purpose. I saw it all up close, and I'll forever be grateful that I did. 

Opportunities like that only come around once in a lifetime.

Our 2010 staff team was Elizabeth Specht, Lindsay Baker, Jocelyn Wong, Muffet Chambers, Jacklyn Samonte, Ian Chian, Sydney Kuo, Kathy Ross, Janice Kostiuk, Carol Dickson, Aissa Yeung, Josephine Ho, Beth Tetzel, Laurie Scheuerman, and Ryan Luetzen.