By: Laura Keil, Publisher

Words of gratefulness are wonderful. Acts of gratefulness are something else.

If you’ve ever met Vern Pawloske you know he loves to talk about the library. It’s the kind of gusto that comes when you discover something you wish you had long ago. You talk about it to all your friends. You revel in how it’s changed your life.

Pawloske is a lifelong farm boy. His sinewy body is lean from years of hard labour – harvesting potatoes by hand, working the farm into the evening hours and then again in the dawn hours. He still lives on his family’s rustic farm with few modern conveniences just outside McBride.

Over the past couple years, Vern, now 70 years old, has begun learning about the internet, email, social media, cell phone technology and more from the staff at the McBride library.

What does he have to say about it?

He’ll tell you all about it – but his 200km fundraising trek to Adolphus Lake and back in a day is a pretty good illustration of what it means to him.

Vern started his trek at 3am on June 21st, the summer solstice. He biked to the Berg Lake Trail (approx. 70 km) then hiked to Adolphus Lake, 7km past Berg Lake, and back (~54km), and then biked home.

200km in all in 21 hours.

He said he felt exactly the same as when he left and he wasn’t sore.

I don’t think that takes away from the accomplishment! It will be months before the final tally is in, but Vern had raised some $5000 by the day of his trek. Since then, more donations have come in.

The McBride Library is more than a library. It is a centre of learning, literacy and positive community. Like Vern, the library and museum have big plans – to raise $500,000 to buy a bigger building on Main St.

Thus far the library and museum have raised nearly $100,000 and they also have the equity of the Library Annex building, which they could sell. They have a little ways still to reach their goal.

But with Vern on their side, and all the other people who have pitched in, I have no doubt they’ll reach it.