Her family have nick-named her ‘The queen of post-it notes.’
Connie Davis’s cupboards are often plastered with these colourful notes that hold reminders of tasks still to do in regards to her volunteer work.
For Davis, volunteering is a good health formula.
“To volunteer equals good health,” she said.
Some of the benefits for her personally include, meeting new people and building relationships, being challenged to learn new skills and being part of a team where everyone is working towards a common goal. She likes to be a creative force while helping to build the kind of community she loves to live in.
“I’ve tried to direct my passion,” explained Davis. “When you have a passion and keen interest in something and you point yourself in that direction, it is so fulfilling because it just expands everything and you can live it out.”
Clear evidence of this can be seen when one looks at Davis’s volunteer history.
As a young child born and raised in Summerland, the fall fair was a real highlight for her each year.
“I remembered attending the Summerland Fall Fair and being very much involved and entering things. It was a real family and community event,” explained Davis. “With those memories, when my time was freed up a little bit, I decided that I would like to volunteer and get involved.”
Gradually she “learned the ropes” and met different challenges and eventually sat on the board of directors and served as the president of the Fall Fair Committee for six years.
“It’s a little heartbreaking to not see it continue after achieving and managing to get it to its one hundredth year and farther,” said Davis. “When you pour so much of your energy and life into that kind of event, it’s almost like losing a family member. You grieve that loss.”
Davis very much hopes to see the fair “resurrected from the ashes,” even though she herself has moved on to other initiatives.
Following another passion, she and a fellow retired nurse run a wellness clinic once a month at the Parkdale Lodge, listening to and sharing information with the seniors who live there.
“I’m a retired registered nurse,” explained Davis. “I have such a love of people and communicating with people and being with them and contributing to their world.”
As a child, Davis stayed with her grandparents in the gardener’s cottage at the Summerland Research Station.
“I have such a love for the gardens, because of my early history of living up there and my grandfather was one of the head gardeners,” she explained. “There is such a connection there. I know some of the trees he planted because his script is still on the tin plates that mark those old trees.”
Because of this connection, Davis now sits on the board of directors for the Friends of the Gardens Society (FOG) and serves as the Volunteer and Membership coordinator.
“It’s a very active role,” she said. “I’m of the thought that if I’m going to approach volunteers to do something, I need to do what they are doing, so I am working in the gardens along with them and I’m learning what, where and when and getting to know them. I really don’t like asking a volunteer to do something that I wouldn’t do myself.”
This is a particularly busy year to be involved with the Summerland Ornamental Gardens, because a two day free community event is being planned in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the gardens, to be held on July 16 and 17.
“We are just pouring everything into it that we can,” said Davis.
In order to spend as much personal time volunteering as Davis does, one needs the help of others.
Davis is married to her husband of 45 years and has two grown children, a daughter and son.
“One thing I have to say,” Davis said, “My family has always been very, very supportive. My husband and even my kids would come and work alongside me at different events. Ray is right behind me on this.”
Not only that, they also keep her well supplied with post-it notes, including them in her Christmas stocking each year!