Volunteering is a rewarding experience for Karlene Scott

Karlene Scott

MINDEMOYA—Karlene Scott is an integral thread in the tapestry that makes up not only Central Manitoulin, but the Manitoulin community as a whole.

Born and raised in Mindemoya, Ms. Scott grew up on a farm one mile outside of Mindemoya with two brothers and three sisters. Her mother was very involved in the community, as was her father in addition to his job with Hydro One.

Ms. Scott credits her parents with instilling in her the importance of community and volunteering at a young age.

“Ever since I was young I’ve been volunteering,” shared Ms. Scott. “It was just something you did. My parents were always involved in various organizations like the Providence Bay Fair.”

The Providence Bay Fair is something Ms. Scott has stayed involved with over the years, taking on a variety of roles from secretary to currently, a member of the board of directors as the director of food, the organizer of the Providence Bay Fair Ambassador Pageant, Manitoulin Idol, the gate workers and the turtle races.

“It is such a good committee,” said Ms. Scott. “They are a wonderful group to work with. It is a busy weekend but worth it.”

“With the ambassador pageant, beauty is a part of it, but I want the girls to know it’s all about internal beauty—that is the key,” she continued. “It is so special to see the confidence the girls gain. With the idol content it’s wonderful to see the little ones get up on stage and break out of their shells.”

Ms. Scott began working at Manitoulin Secondary School in 1981, eventually becoming office supervisor.

She has been married to her husband Rob for 30 years and the couple has two daughters, Meghan and Sara.

In addition to working at the high school, Ms. Scott volunteers her time organizing school events such as the annual Christmas Craft Sale, a popular holiday event on Manitoulin, and sits on the Student Aid Fund Committee.

One of Ms. Scott’s roles she is most known for on Manitoulin is as coordinator of the annual Pearson Cup baseball tournament.

“I was involved with the Mindemoya Community Centre Board prior, before it dissolved, and then I started helping with the Pearson Cup over 20 years ago,” explained Ms. Scott, who now coordinates the weekend. “It is nice getting to know people through the tournament and I love hearing from people about how much they are looking forward to it and how much fun they have.”

She is also very involved with the annual Journey to Bethlehem event, having been a part of the committee since its inception over 18 years ago.

“We all have different roles,” said Ms. Scott of the committee. “My role is coordinating the actors. It is another big weekend in the community.”

Near and dear to Ms. Scott’s heart is her church, Mindemoya Missionary.

“It is really an amazing church with so much going on so I try to help as much as I can,” she shared. “I help with the choir, the nursery school and dinners or events the church hosts.”

Recently Ms. Scott added another volunteer post to her busy schedule, joining the board of directors of Community Living Manitoulin.

“As part of the board I help with organizing events like the Christmas party or the upcoming volunteer appreciation night,” Ms. Scott said. “I’ve really been enjoying it and the people are wonderful.”

“Manitoulin is a great place to get involved,” Ms. Scott told The Expositor of why people should volunteer. “The community closeness—everyone knowing everyone—is part of what makes Manitoulin so special.”

As to why Ms. Scott continues to volunteer year after year, she shared, “I just really like doing it. I’ve never worked with a committee of people I didn’t like and I just like staying busy. The satisfaction of seeing good things happening is also very rewarding and so is sparking the interest of others to get involved. We have a good life here on Manitoulin and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”