Bev Ridd was honoured at a fundraiser dinner at DeLuca's restaurant on April 22/15. We had a sold out event. The following is an excerpt from a tribute paid to Bev by Glynis Quinn.
Oak Table has operated 37 years. Bev began volunteering about 20 years ago, making her a relative newcomer. Bev attended a "getting to know the neighbourhood workshop" at her church where she met a volunteer from the Oak Table. Bev was asked to consider volunteering. She didn't have any idea what was needed or what she could do, the volunteer told her "all we need is someone to be a friend" and Bev thought, she could certainly be that. Twenty years later, Bev is still holding out that hand of friendship to people who attend the Oak Table, whether it be on her regular Monday shift, when she meets someone on the bus, or while she is walking through the skywalks in her downtown neighbourhood. Bev credits Oak Table with giving her the gift of understanding. This gift is what allows Bev to be open to conversation, offering a listening ear or a helping hand over and over again.
I asked Bev, with so many other causes vying for attention, why she stayed so long with Oak Table. Without even needing to think, the answer slipped off her tongue........ "Because Oak Table does important work, I am part of the Oak Table Community, I get far more from it than I give ". It was that feeling that spurred Bev to action when Oak Table's funding was in jeopardy 6 years ago. Because of a funding policy Oak Table needed to separate it's operation from Augustine United, it's founding support. Bev tells me this was a particularly stressful time because of the tight time deadlines made necessary in order to qualify for funding. Since then Bev has continued to support the Oak Table in many roles including Board Chair; chair of the Program Committee, Grant Writer, Personnel Committee, Team Lead, soup and sandwich maker, listening ear, receptionist, to name a few. No job is too big or too small. Bev gives the important, the necessary, and the seemingly inconsequential her full attention. If she says she will do it, you can count on it.