the Sweet Side of Volunteering

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Story helped volunteers satisfy their sweet tooth last October during the West Coast Chocolate Festival - a week-long celebration of all things cocoa-related. Chocolate-lovers flocked to Coquitlam, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam for the festival while recruited over 20 new volunteers to make the event a success.

In its sixth year, the festival was planned and managed entirely by volunteers; a core team of coordinators that oversees the more than 100 event volunteers who make the festival possible.

"Many of our volunteers are students, both high school and post-secondary," said Linda Baker, festival coordinator. "It's our mission - besides celebrating chocolate and all that it inspires - to create mentored work experiences for youth."

"It's never been a big problem to get people to show up and work, but it's harder to find people with good event production, marketing and managerial skills to work with and mentor the students - and that's where has been most useful," Linda continued.

Sandra Dick was recruited through and coordinated one of the signature events of the festival: the All Things Chocolate trade and tasting show, where guests sampled the many products offered and learned about the fine art of chocolate appreciation.

"The entire experience was memorable, and it was the first event of its kind that I have been involved in," said Sandra. "The projects that I am usually involved with tend to be more technical, so this was a refreshing change."

"I was originally researching 2010 volunteering opportunities, and came across," continued Sandra. "I had volunteered for many years, but was looking for a more organizational role, and the Festival was the perfect fit."

The West Coast Chocolate Festival is one of the most popular events using to recruit volunteers. Visit to view listing of volunteer positions for the 2007 festival. is an online registration tool to connect volunteers with event organizations throughout BC. is supported by the Province of British Columbia, CTV, Volunteer BC and Volunteer Canada. Visit for more information.