By Greg Price
To tell you the truth, when I first moved to Taber, I did not think much of it.
I found Taber to be much like the other small-town newspaper I worked at up north in Morninville. A tad closed off with its residents who kept to themselves. I was the outsider looking in and felt disconnected when I first got here.
I guess that may come naturally, as with many small towns who have multiple generations growing up in the same spot, people can get territorial. There is not as much movement as there is in larger urban centres.
People were maybe seeing if I could become ‘one of them,’ or if I was just going to be a blip on the screen looking to see if I was going to move to a larger urban centre.
But as I made myself more comfortable in the community, taking up some volunteering like coaching football back in 2003 (something I still do today), and baseball, and became accustomed to my sports beat (which I still have today), the Town of Taber eventually warmed to me as I did to them.
To this day I have many families I have covered on the Taber sports beat accept me into their homes for a drink, dinner or family outing, and have literally adopted me as one of their own.
Living it a small town has its advantages and disadvantages, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. I’m proud to say I can call myself a Taberite with more than a decade of citizenship under my belt.
Proud because time and time again as I am a guy on the outside looking in helping run The Taber Times, I know of very few rural towns that support its own like Taber does.
I would guesstimate over my time here in Taber, I’ve written promotional articles for good causes where the community has raised millions of dollars combined.
The biggest being the hospital telethon that will be going on this Sunday.
In a mere month, Taberites came to the distressed call of the Taber Food Bank and raised $45,000 towards its operation, not to mention the thousands upon thousands of pounds of food donated to line the shelves.
Hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of dollars raised by the business community in a few months so that families can enjoy a hot summer day at Taber’s new spray park, not to mention the labour that was donated for free.
The skateboard park right beside it was another initiative that took a lot of community elbow grease to get going.
If a family has fallen on really hard times due to an unexpected illness or perhaps tragedy, Taberites are there to help out with a charity dinner.
For a town that only hovers around 8,000, we are inundated with service clubs that are constantly filling the gaps of delivery so that our families can enjoy different events or help the less fortunate.
I have known of several sports coaches over the years that have led many a team without any blood connection to them with a family connection. But there they are at the helm, simply for the love of the game and wanting to see a certain program continue for kids to enjoy.
While the Taber volunteer fire department could use more members, we still have a healthy ratio considering our overall population of those willing to sacrifice their time with loved ones —and perhaps their lives, to come to our rescue.
This week’s Pheasant Festival and our annual Cornfest would not be possible without the tireless efforts of legions of volunteers.
Residents will be showing how much they care about the direction of recreation and the arts with upcoming open houses to help draft master plans.
Communities in Bloom are ever diligent in trying to make Taber a more beautiful place to live. Volunteers with the TANGO Foundation are giving much needed medical attention to those in need in impoverished countries across the globe.
One can easily get writer’s cramp listing off all the people and organizations who have cared in this community about something bigger than themselves and still miss somebody.
Whether it is opening their wallets or their hearts with their free time, Taberites care about their own.
Flip through the Taber Times on a weekly basis and you are more than likely to see someone giving a helping hand to someone else.
It may have taken me a bit to warm up to the town in my first couple of years as I got my feet under me, but I can say I am truly proud to be a Taberite.