The Avola Community Hall was built in 1937. The Avola Community Hall and Recreational Cooperative Association was formed in 2017 to operate the hall.

Bridging the gaps between us

There is a renewed appreciation of the village of Avola

Editor, The Times:

With the spring thaw and the awakening of a new season, there is a renewed appreciation of the village of Avola.

I would like to briefly set your focus on our little rural community in the mountains.

As community members, each one of us is unique and has various talents, skills, and interests. Yet we face many common challenges and have similar hopes, goals and dreams.

With those individual and common themes arose the recognition that we have a need for community input, localized services, resource sharing and communal harmony.

As individuals, we all have something of value to contribute, and as a whole we have so much potential to continue to grow into a healthy, socially viable and thriving village.

Some of the things we have in common are our demographic age and geographical location. We are a unique community by the similarities of our demographic age category. As it currently stands, there are no young families or children that are permanent residents.

With our age comes experience, honed skill sets and wisdom, along with its ensuing physical limitations. and health issues.

Another similarity is the geographic challenges of a rural community that is often affected by the seasonal weather and road conditions.

It sits an hour’s drive away from all the amenities and daily conveniences that so many take for granted.

Wintertime has a particularly negative impact on our ability to travel and limits access to even the most basic of needs and resources. We are often cut off from society, medical services, groceries, and variety of other public amenities and services.

With this reality in mind, we are learning how to manage with those limitations and become a more prosperous, independent and thriving community.

Fortunately, we have the means, the will, the knowledge, the volunteerism, the local interest and three local entities to support our community needs.

There is enough community spirit to maintain Avola, with potential for so much more.

The first group is the locally governed and elected Avola Improvement District (AID).

It is run by volunteers who maintain and repair our water system and protect our village in the event that a fire should arise.

READ MORE: Avola residents create tourist sign (Aug. 17, 2017)

Originally, the AID maintained and governed a number of other local community services, parks, and community buildings, in addition to the local Avola cemetery, until the TNRD took over care and control of those public services and the Avola School House.

The second group was originally formed by a local book club that recognized the potential benefits that a social club could facilitate and meet some of the social needs of our community. The Upstream Community and Heritage Society (UCHS) has a dedicated group of members who have been organizing various community events and weekly gatherings at the original Avola School House since 2014.

The third group was formed to facilitate the need for a locally owned and operated organization whose sole purpose is to operate and maintain the original Avola Community Hall, in order to provide locally managed community services and programs and to raise funds from hall rentals, functions, events and other contributions.

Avola Community Hall And Recreational Cooperative Association (ACHARCA) was incorporated in June, 2017 with substantial community support. Its members welcome and encourage members of AID and UCHS to participate inclusively through volunteer efforts, community spirit, support and involvement.

Each group has its unique purposes, yet they equally support the common needs and goals of our village.

It is these common hopes, dreams, and visions that we hope to bridge the gaps between us, meet the needs of our residence, reach individual goals, and grow together as a community.

Together We Can … be a strong, vibrant, thriving community.

Together We Can … celebrate our strengths, common interests, hopes, goals and dreams.

Together We Can … support each other in community spirit, with neighborly appreciation and mutual respect.

Together We Can …

Lisa Leger

Avola resident and community supporter

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Avola’s original schoolhouse is operated by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, with many programs offered the Upstream Community and Heritage Society. Other community groups active in Avola include Avola Improvement District and Avola Community Hall and Recreational Cooperative Association. Times file photo

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