Winter Games on the hunt for volunteer hosts

While the Cities of Vernon and Armstrong host the 2012 B.C. Winter Games, volunteers are still needed to host the kids and athletes.

While the Cities of Vernon and Armstrong host the 2012 B.C. Winter Games, volunteers are still needed to host the kids and athletes.

Greater Vernon Games committee accommodations director Larry Grist has an urgent need for dorm hosts.

And it has nothing to do with watching the athletes.

“You don’t have to look after the kids, the coaches and kids stay in schools,” said Grist. “What we need is people to help check the coaches and athletes in and out of the schools.

“Nobody can leave a school without checking out, and you have to check back in.”

Grist currently has 85 volunteers signed up and needs 400. That number will go down if people sign up to work more than one shift.

The reason for the urgency is because dorm host volunteers must complete a criminal record check.

Checks take about two weeks to process and approve.

“We can do them right at the Games office,” said Grist of the checks.

The Games office is open Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the old Vernon Flower Shop on 31st Avenue, down from the Greyhound depot.

Grist also requires volunteers to help set up the dorms.

“There’s nine schools being used for accommodation and about 130 rooms, so approximately 20 people in the room,” said Grist.

Athletes and coaches sleep on foamies and bring their own sleeping bags and pillows.

“I need people to help move desks out of the way, and cover things that shouldn’t be touched,” he added.

Vernon Secondary and Beairsto will be in use on the Wednesday of the Games, as athletes and officials from the North and the Island arrive a day ahead of the Games, which run Feb. 23-26.

The rest of the participants arrive on Thursday,  Feb. 23, and everybody leaves on Sunday, Feb. 26.

Anybody who would like to volunteer for dorm host or set-up can do so at the B.C. Games office, or they can call Grist at 250-308-7822 for more information.