“Volunteering is like getting double rewarded.”
We are so excited to celebrate one of our dedicated Adaptive Sailing Association of BC (ASABC) volunteers, Dr. Sheldon Glazer! Sheldon has been volunteering as a sailing companion for more than five years, and we are so grateful for his continued support each summer. He was chosen as Volunteer of the Year in 2020 for contributing the greatest number of sailing hours that year while continually making a meaningful and positive impact with program participants and other volunteers.
Sheldon’s first sail was 40 years ago, when he decided to cross the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to Samoa with a friend while navigating by the horizon and starlight. Pretty remarkable, although he describes himself as “foolish.” Without much prior sailing experience, he learned what “not to do” in life. After catching the sailing bug on that voyage, he’s since been island-hopping in the Pacific, bareboating in the Caribbean, and now, you can find him sailing with our participants at Jericho Beach! The “glowing feeling” of being out on the water, as well as the desire to share that experience with others, is what motivates him to volunteer with ASABC.
As a former family and emergency physician, Sheldon has worked with and treated many people with disabilities and has been there at the time of disability for many. Now, later on in the recovery process, he gets to give back in a different, more experiential way. The connection between his passion for sailing and background in healthcare is one aspect of what makes Sheldon such a remarkable volunteer.
When asked what attracted him to join ASABC, he shared that it was his wife who made the suggestion. She was rowing down at Jericho Sailing Centre with one of the clubs back then and saw the ASABC boats. She knew he would love it, so he went down and started volunteering – easy as that!
Sheldon describes the rewards of volunteering as absolutely fabulous! He shared, “It’s like getting double rewarded. There’s the joy of being out on the water, with the wind, the sails, the scenery, the rhythm of the ocean and you also get the vicarious joy of your clients. Even more so because a lot of them do not go out often but when they sail, they experience something wonderful. I like the experience of having a conversation with them, some of them are very great conversationalists.”
Additionally, volunteering with ASABC is an opportunity for Sheldon to stay active and engaged with the summer staff members. One contribution in life Sheldon is most proud of is teaching. After retiring from medicine, he finds that he has realized how much he misses teaching and being around enthusiastic people. Being part of the ASABC team has allowed him to surround himself with others, which “keeps [him] young!” Sheldon describes ASABC as the perfect summer job, where he gets to be out in nature and connect with many people.
To other volunteers, or future volunteers, Sheldon shares that his time with ASABC has been incredibly rewarding. To him, ASABC is not just about experiencing sailing with someone who may not usually get out on the water, but it’s also about sharing a conversation and connecting with somebody. “And that,” Sheldon says, “is what life is all about.”
Thank you, Sheldon, for your commitment to ASABC! We are grateful to you for your kindness and passion for sharing sailing with others.
If you are interested in experiencing and sharing the joy of being outdoors with others like Sheldon, please consider joining our community of volunteers for our summer programs! Learn more and sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.