Award for Maple Ridge’s Country Fest volunteer – Maple Ridge News
Tom Cameron has been recognized nationally for his contributions to Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Country Fest.
Every year, the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions recognizes someone from across the country who goes the extra mile for their community’s fair or agricultural society.
The winner of the Canadian Fair Champion award receives and all-expense-paid trip to the CAFE convention in Fredericton, N.B.
This year, the convention runs Nov. 16-18.
Cameron, who is president of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Agricultural Association, was secretly nominated by manager Lorraine Bates. He found out last Thursday that he had won.
Cameron started working with Country Fest 25 years ago, when it was called the Ridge Meadows Fair.
“I got sucked in here. I came down here to be the announcer for a Musical Ride show and that was in 1992. And I just never left,” laughed Cameron, adding that he never did do much farming in his life.
“When I was a baby, I lived on farm in Langley. But by the time I was eight years old, we were living in New Westminster. I never really went back to the farm.
Cameron and Bates are hoping to be able to make it to Fredericton, but Cameron has leukemia and is currently waiting for results from his most recent round of chemotherapy.
“I am hoping I will be well enough to go to it. I need that window, a four-day window where I’m not getting transfusions. I will be talking to my bone specialist next week,” said Cameron, who is also co-chair of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society and is already booking registration locations, scheduling toy pick-ups and getting insurance ready for the malls.
In addition to Country Fest and the Christmas Hamper Society, Cameron’s charity of choice is Cops for Cancer.
“I do basically brain work for them. Stuff like plan fundraisers and things like that,” said Cameron.
“To be recognized is an amazing thing. But it’s not just me or the accolades, it’s just my name on the top of a director’s list and that’s all,” he added.
“There are so many people across Canada who deserve it more than I do,” he continued, adding one piece of advice: “I feel if you have time in your life to volunteer, then pay it forward … Because, hopefully down the road, somebody has paid it forward for me.”