Kathy Mutch is a Western Manitoulin volunteer extraordinaire

GORE BAY—With the pandemic and helping out her late husband over the past couple of years, Kathy Mutch has not been involved in volunteering as she once was, or wants to be but now that the pandemic regulations have been loosened, she intends to get more involved again.

“Volunteering is what makes the world go around,” Ms. Mutch told The Expositor. “Organizations don’t have money, so a lot wouldn’t be operating without volunteer help.”

“And when you are a volunteer, you are a volunteer,” said Ms. Mutch. “Enjoy what you do; whatever you can do helps other people in need.”

In the past and in other communities where she lived, Ms. Mutch volunteered with Girl Guides, the Alzheimer’s Society, ski clubs, swim teams and a co-op nursery school. She even pounded the pavement in one community getting enough parents signed up to bring French immersion into the elementary school and she has always volunteered at her church, whereever she lived, teaching Sunday School and taking on leadership roles.

Kathy and her late husband were very involved with Friends of Misery Bay (FOMB) for several years, helping out at the visitors’ centre and taking on jobs of treasurer and membership secretary for the board of directors.

Kathy chairs one committee and is a member of another one and is on the council of Lyons Memorial United Church. “Our Church has a strong mission and outreach focus and I am one of several volunteers who help with the Good Food Box program out of Little Current. We are the depot for the distribution of boxes in Western Manitoulin. Our church pays for four or five boxes a month and I am one of the volunteers who delivers them to folks in the community. We were instrumental in helping our Minister, Mercedes Hughes, get our church food cupboard open at Lyons Memorial when we realized there was increasing food insecurity here in the West End and I help keep it stocked monthly.”

“I am one of several volunteers who have helped run the Market Café under the direction of the Anglican Church Ladies in the past and we plan to take part in the resumption of the café again this summer as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.” She reports that many people from Gore Bay and surrounding communities have visited the Lyons Memorial United Church rummage sales where they encounter lots of volunteers, like Kathy, working hard and having fun raising money for many local church outreach programs as well as international mission work like the most recent money raised and sent to help the people of Ukraine.

Ms. Mutch is a member of the United Church Women’s group in Gore Bay, and they usually have one of their meetings each year at Manitoulin Lodge where they invite residents to attend in the common room for Valentines, treats and some sing-along time. “We have had a two-year hiatus from visiting the lodge due to Covid but we hope to get back to visiting there soon,” she said.

In the past, Kathy volunteered to represent Lyons Memorial at Sudbury Presbytery and has just volunteered to be the representative at the Canadian Shield Regional Council. “A lot of our meetings now will be conducted on the Zoom platform so will involve a lot less traveling. And that is one of the good developments that came out of the pandemic.”