In 2009, after a year of living in Clearwater, Daniela Wiunig took on the volunteer position of treasurer for the Clearwater Ski Hill and has been lending her time with the organization ever since.
Nearly a decade later, in 2018 she was nominated as president and for a year did double duty as both treasurer and head of the club.
“They needed a treasurer and I got asked from the president at the time if I’d like the position and that’s how I started there,” said Wiunig.
“Because I’ve been with the ski hill for a long time, I then got nominated for the president. They thought I would be a good fit.”
Wiunig is originally from Austria where she developed a love for skiing, which is what attracted her to the Clearwater Ski Hill when she moved to town in 2008.
Last year there were some problems with the ski lift and the ski season looked doomed, but it was under her direction that it was able to get up and running, though she insists she can’t take all the credit because she has a great team behind her to help.
She said it was quite an ordeal finding workers and organizing the repair, especially because many of the ski hill directors who were familiar with the lift had left, but in the end, it was accomplished and Cleawater Ski Hill had another good year.
“It was under her initiative that the ski hill could even open this past year. She is one of the unsung heroes that make Clearwater tick,” said Clearwater resident, Shelley Sim.
“In addition to the ski hill, she can always be counted on to help with minor hockey. She is a networker and she knows how to build a great team! She is friendly, upbeat, positive and she loves living in Canada.”
Aside from maintenance, Wiunig is in charge of keeping the facility’s doors open and with constantly changing regulations, utility bills, making sure the propane tanks are full and other things like insurance, it’s a big job to do as a volunteer.
In order to bring in the needed dollars, the ski hill building gets rented out for weddings, small business dinners, Christmas events and other activities like Mexican night and fondue night.
Wiunig said it’s worth the effort, though, because Clearwater is fortunate to have such a facility for people to enjoy.
“It’s just a big bonus that we have it in Clearwater and we’re able to drive like five or 10 minutes to the ski hill and ski and the whole community can come,” she said.
“You can just ski for a few hours, it’s really affordable for everybody and it’s just nice to see all the smiley faces.”
Some of the biggest rewards come from helping others learn to ski, especially the local school kids, many of whom are trying the sport out for the first time.
Helping the children build up confidence and watching them take to the hill brings a sense of satisfaction for Wiunig, especially when she sees them return and gradually improve their skills.
“They can’t ski and they’re so afraid, then an hour later they ski down the little bunny hill and smile and have so much fun; then you see them on the weekend coming back, and you know you did something good,” she said.
“I just love it when I see I did my job.”
Would you like to nominate someone who has gone above and beyond to serve the community? We would love to hear from you. Phone 250-674-3343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org