This National Volunteer Week, we join organizations across Canada to applaud the volunteers who enable us to organize events and provide support to people affected by dementia. From April 16 - 22, read shared stories celebrating the positive impact volunteers have on our communities.
Patrick Vance is not your average volunteer, driven by a passion for community service that has led him to devote countless hours to various boards and organizations in the North Okanagan. One of his most significant contributions is his role as the North Okanagan Committee Chair for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s, presented by Go Auto.
There are an estimated 85,800 people currently living with dementia in B.C., which is expected to increase to an estimated 133,700 by 2030, it is more important now than ever before to have volunteers like Patrick supporting the Alzheimer Society of B.C.
When asked about his passion for volunteering and maintaining a work-life balance, Patrick says, "I make time for myself and try to be efficient, especially as a full-time single father of two. It’s important to me that I get to role model for my kids what community service looks like and how rewarding it can be to know that the things you're doing really matter to a lot of people." Patrick understands that his contributions, no matter how big or small, can have a significant impact on the lives of others. "When you get involved with things like this, it becomes a force multiplier," he says. "You do these little things, but they have a larger impact on a broad variety of people, and that's where my heart lives."
Looking for a way to give back after his grandmother passed away from Alzheimer's disease in 2018, Patrick was invited to help with the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer's. In the years since, he has become an integral part of the Society's efforts to raise awareness and funds for people affected by the disease.
For Patrick, leaving a legacy is important. "When I’m 80 or 90 years old on my deathbed, I won’t regret volunteering this much," he says. "I want those ripples in the pond to extend further and know that the things I do matter." When the Walk went virtual in 2020 – with participants encouraged to walk, run or bike on their own – Patrick rode his bike 400 km, representing a round trip between Vernon and Chilliwack, where his grandmother lived, before walking an additional 100 km.
With the rising numbers of people living with dementia, Patrick encourages others to get involved and make a difference. "It's easy to say you want to help, but it's another thing to put yourself out there and get involved," he says. "The rewards are incredible. You get to meet new people, gain new skills, and make a difference in your community."
Patrick Vance's story is a shining example of the impact that a single individual can have on their community. Through his dedication and commitment to volunteering, he has helped make a significant difference in the lives of people affected by dementia.
To volunteer for your local Walk for Alzheimer’s click here.
If you are interested in joining the wonderful team of volunteers at the Alzheimer Society of B.C., you can find volunteer opportunities here.