Community will only benefit from open arms

If you were a visitor to the streets of Sicamous this summer, there’s a good chance you were hugged by a stranger…

If you were a visitor to the streets of Sicamous this summer, there’s a good chance you were hugged by a stranger who, of course, is a stranger no more.

Sicamous resident Shirley Holcomb made it her mission this spring to welcome visitors to the community, offering a card, some kind words and the warmest of greeting, a hug. And she did it without apprehension or discrimination, extending her arms to anyone visiting the town, regardless of whether they arrived by RV or on a Harley Davidson, or if they had a B.C., Alberta or U.S. licence plate.

In a big city like Vancouver, this approach likely would not have gone over as well. But in Sicamous, “Huggy Shirley” Holcomb seems to have made a positive, lasting impression on  everyone she met. So much so that the Sicamous Chamber of Commerce honoured Holcomb with a Visitor Ambassador award.

To some, Holcomb’s initiative – promoting the community one hug at a time – may seem odd. But with a warm, sincere and selfless embrace, the sprightly senior has accomplished what some communities spend thousands of marketing dollars to do: selling the community to a tourist market (and here’s the most imporant part) who plan on returning in the future. Furthermore, she was able to do this while Sicamous was in a dire state, suffering and than recovering from the ravages of a debris flow and flooding, and a flood of related negative media publicity that did little good for the community.

To say Sicamous needed someone like Holcomb this summer is an understatement.

Kudos have to be given to the Sicamous Chamber for recognizing the good thing the community has in Holcomb.

It isn’t surprising Holcomb says she feels undeserving of the award. Such a response should be expected from one who is willing to hug a stranger for the benefit of her community.

 

Just Posted

Salmon Arm disc golf proponent eager to give back to community

A member of Rapattack, Duncan Walters would like to see trails, course available to public

Clouds Sunday, sunshine and heat Monday

Weather forecast for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen looks spectacular

Former Shuswap fire captain uses power of Lego to help kids

Salmon Arm Fall Fair to feature upgraded Lego building competition

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

Church building has been a landmark on Summerland’s Butler Street

Neighbourhood in Lowertown has gone through changes over the years.

Vernon team wins second straight NOSL title

North Enderby Timber crushes Salmon Arm Beer Badgers 8-1 in soccer league championship

Okanagan MMA fighter captures middleweight belt at home

Jordan Cabrejos scores victory at XFC Unbanned, the return of mixed martial arts to Vernon

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

Rainbow adds to beauty of Blackburn Park

Soccer game played under a rainbow-adorned sky on the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 21

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

Man shot near Coalmont airlifted to hospital

A man was shot near Coalmont B.C. Saturday afternoon. The victim was… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

Most Read