To many, identity is what defines a person.
So what happens when a town is without an identity? The Village of Caronport decided to give a physical representation of their identity in the form of a village sign.
In 2013, residents of Caronport created a Beautification Committee in an attempt to have an organized group who would make it their goal to make the village of Caronport look better and better as the years went by. The committee, which consists of Cheryl Crocker, Carla Hoffmann and Jeremy Demoskoff, made a list of projects that they would like to tackle in the future. At the top of that list was a sign for Caronport.
It had been years since the village of Caronport had it's own sign, so it was not tough to get the village council on board.
Brandy Magnus, a member of council for Caronport, has worked closely with the Beautification Committee to facilitate the building of this sign.
"We had to come up with a design, a location as far as getting approval from Briercrest, because it is Briercrest land," said Magnus, "and getting approval from [the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure] because it is so close to the service road.... Briercrest was very easy to work with as far as getting approval. We've been working with Geoff [Holt] pretty closely on that part."
The Beautification Committee wanted to keep the sign in touch with the history of the village as an air base in the 1940s.
"Joel From did a lot of work [on the history of Caronport] and to make a long story short, that's why we have an airplane on the sign," Magnus shared. "We came up with 'established in '47' because Caronport had never really been established but that is when the first post office was established."
Magnus made it very clear that this project needed the help of many volunteers.
"We've had so many hands in the sign, as far as the volunteers," Magnus explained. "Because we're so small and projects nowadays cost so much money, it is essential to have volunteers; otherwise we couldn't afford it."
Magnus named many volunteers who gave their time and resources to the construction of this sign including, but not limited to, Cheryl Crocker, Carla Hoffmann, Jeremy Demoskoff, Joel From, Josh Knowles, Rick and Nancy Penner, Norm Klassen, Elma Kaus, Ken Jaarsma as well as help from WalBerg Enterprises and Caron Concrete.
The Caronport sign is not where the work of the Beautification Committee ends, however.
The Beautification Committee“has only been going for a year now, and the sign was on the top of the list. Right now [their] project is to make the park across from the spray park [beautiful]," Magnus said. "Last year they planted trees, this year David Hinderager poured cement pads, Dale Fehr's PA class built picnic tables, and on Saturday they're starting to build a shelter there."
On top of these projects, Caronport and the Beautification Committee are holding a contest for the best yard this summer. The top three yards will get prizes to better their yards in the future. Caronport will also be having a Christmas light contest this winter with the top three homes winning prizes from the village as well.
Magnus wants everyone to know the importance of volunteers to the village's betterment.
"I think Caronport has just over 1000 people ... let's say half are kids, so you have 500 adults that can contribute their time," she said. "If everyone in the community gave four hours once a year, then you would have 2000 hours of volunteer time which [is equivalent to] a full-time position. So, if everyone could contribute those four hours a year, we could have a lot done."
The Caronport sign project is the perfect example of what can happen when a town bands together for the betterment of their community.