Homer Winter Carnival: It’s all about community

While planning this year’s Homer Winter Carnival, I learned something unexpected about our community.  I feel strongly that it is important to share with all of you. 

In nearly all off my conversations with various organizations, I was told  “We have a small number of volunteers and need more members to step up.”  The second consistent statement was “We have to find new ways to fund raise, there are more people in need than ever before.” 

When you participate in this year’s Homer Winter Carnival events and look at the schedule, you will see an event “sponsored by” or “benefiting.” This is because I made the  decision to find a vehicle for local organizations to raise funds for themselves or for their favorite charity.  When you participate by purchasing buttons, or signing up to run for Mr. Homer, or dancing the night away at the  Elks Lodge while bidding on desserts, or enrolling a team into the Snowshoe Softball Tournament, or attending any of our fun events, you will be spending your hard-earned dollars on an organization that is here in Homer.  

It is my hope that the participating groups will experience rejuvenation of volunteers and much needed dollars. 

I started out wanting to rebuild a beloved community event, but ended up learning so much about our little community. Please take a moment to ask  yourself “What can I do?” 

When I signed up to volunteer at the fire department years ago, I did it because I felt it was my turn to serve my community. I could have never imagined where that decision would have taken  me. 

I met people I would have never met any other day of the week. I had the pleasure of working as a medic of Iliamna Lake Contractors for a GCI  project. I spent two unforgettable months on the tundra out of Igiugig driving a Tucker Snow Kat, flying to work on a helicopter and made some beautiful friends there. I then went to the Arctic Circle and served as a community health aide.  None of that would have happened if I had not filled out that application to be an EMT.  Wow — what a ride.  

I urge you to be a volunteer. Volunteers enrich our community and volunteering helps you grow in ways you never would imagine. 

This year’s Homer Winter Carnival holds a lot of promise. We worked hard to get the “word out” statewide. Thanks to Timeless Toys, The Grog Shop, Nomar,  Vida’s Thai Food, Two Sisters Bakery, Alaska Elite Trim and Homer Chamber of Commerce for taking a leap of faith with us. Thanks to Jill Tillion with Coast Magazine for all of her help. 

Let this year’s Winter Carnival inspire you. Please join in  and support your local community organizations.

Genny Miller is on this year’s Homer Winter Carnival Committee. The carnival will be Feb. 6-9. Volunteers are still needed. To volunteer call,  call Genny (Lyda) Miller at 299-0397, Dean Miller at 299-4771, Dax Radtke at 299-0319 or Terry Reed, volunteer coordinator, at 235-6699.