The Spirit Of Giving Can Be A Motto For Living

Going the Extra Mile

Fred Lake is a man on a mission... a mission to be involved. After moving back to Sidney in 2009 to take care of his parents, the Lambert native found his local niche in volunteer opportunities.

In 2010 he joined the Sports and Rec Committee with the Sidney Chamber of Commerce, coordinating the hospitality room for basketball and volleyball games, where snacks and beverages are provided for coaches and administration. He also serves as the director of the Parade of Lights, organizing the procession of floats and their route.

"The Parade of Lights is fun, especially if the weather cooperates," Lake noted.

Over the last eight years he's been part of the Sons of Norway, actively serving as president.

"Fair time is a concentrated amount of work because I help with ordering, prepping and cooking some of the food for our Sons of Norway booth leading up to the fair, during that week, and helping with cleanup once it's over. I'm at the fair every night after work volunteering for various organizations I support," Lake said of one of his busiest times of the year.

During the rest of the year, he estimates he spends about 20 hours a month volunteering with organizations such as the Lambert High School Alumni Association, of which he was president until 2021.

"I made myself available to help the next president out." Lake added, "Sometimes people are more willing to step into leadership positions within volunteer organizations if they know that they will have training or support from someone who's done it before."

He is the former president and current treasurer for the Richland County Democrat Central Committee, and has recently volunteered as an election judge for the primary and major elections.

"This is my newest thing," he commented of becoming an election judge. "I will be there when voters first walk in and greet them, give them information, and direct them where to go. With all the controversy around voting, I wanted to find out for myself what was going on and that's why I got involved. It is a very regimented and secure process."

Lake began volunteering for the concession stands in high school. He would go on to work concessions at Bobcat football games while he was in college in Bozeman, MT. Later, while working in Denver, CO, he would take the opportunity to get his sons involved with community service, working concessions at the Mile High Stadium during Broncos games.

"I included the boys to instill that desire to volunteer and be involved, plus it was good quality time; we always had a great time working concessions at those games," he remembers.

Lake's highest form of service, however, was during his time in the military; he was in the Air Force from 1988 until 1995, working as a Crew Commander for a satellite detection system with Space Command and as an instructor for Undergraduate Space Training.

"I want to see every organization I volunteer for succeed in their mission," he stated.

He encourages others to help through volunteerism, largely because the more people who are involved, the less individual time requirements each person has. Additionally, he encourages those in charge of volunteers to direct, encourage and promote.

"You can't be a task-master. You can't yell at people who are giving you their time and expect to still have people be involved."

For those wondering how to choose what cause to give their time and energy to, his advice is simple: look at your skills and decide how they can be used through volunteerism.

"I'm a foodie and I like sports. Those are skills I can bring to the table to help out."

Lake has worked at Blue Rock for the last ten years and looks forward to retiring eventually, but not so that he can slow down.

"I look forward to retirement so I can give more of my time. I enjoy volunteering. If I have spare time, I can utilize it to help others. I also want to see things happen. Sometimes the best way to see them happen is to volunteer to get them done," he concluded.


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