Volunteerism: The Soul of Oakmont

Last Updated: 11-16-18

Recently, I had the honor and pleasure of attending an event in the Berger Center celebrating the remarkable contributions of our veterans and first responders. It was truly inspiring to see in one place so many people who have served our country and its communities.

I was particularly impressed by the talk given by Santa Rosa City Council member Jack Tibbetts. Although still only in his twenties, and despite the fact that he is already an accomplished off-the-cuff speaker with an extremely busy schedule, Jack took the time to prepare remarks because he felt the gravity of the event demanded no less. To me, that spoke volumes about Jack’s “old soul” and the reverence and respect he has for those who serve a greater purpose.

As I enjoy the blessings of this remarkable community we call home, I’m reminded daily that Oakmont thrives because so many of our residents volunteer. Of course, unlike our veterans and first responders, our lives are not usually threatened by the work we do. But still, when you contemplate what Oakmont would be without the literally hundreds of our residents who serve on our boards, committees and service-oriented clubs, it’s easy to see that selflessness and service are the glue holding Oakmont together. Oakmont is not only a much less expensive place to live because of our volunteers, it’s a much more cohesive place to live.

As I write this, many of us are about to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families. For those with absent families or no families, I hope you will be able to take advantage of local opportunities to celebrate with friends.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: we are not just a bunch of homes, but first and foremost a community. Our community is filled with people who give back ceaselessly and in hundreds of different ways to make sure Oakmont is a beautiful, productive, safe, fun, active, intellectually stimulating, happy place.

The new Susan Millar Volunteer of the Year Award, which our Oakmont Community Foundation has recently agreed to support with a grant that will each year go to an eligible club or organization designated by the volunteer of the year, perfectly exemplifies this spirit.

All of us on the board wish you and your families a joyous, peaceful holiday season.