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MDS Volunteers, Grant and Joan, pose of a picture together at a dinning table in Monte Lake, B.C.MDS Volunteers, Grant and Joan, pose of a picture together at a dinning table in Monte Lake, B.C.
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For their 51st anniversary, Grant and Joan Kowalenko wanted to go somewhere with great food, meaningful activities, engaging people, interesting scenery and good accommodations.

That’s why they chose to do a week of service with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) in Monte Lake, B.C.

The Kowalenkos, members of the Chilliwack, B.C. Central Mennonite Brethren Church, spent the second week of August in Monte Lake, helping rebuild homes for wildfire survivors.

The couple, parents of two children and grandparents of five grandchildren, have done service with MDS before—it’s the seventh time for Grant, 76, and the fifth time for Joan, 78.

“We always meet so many interesting people on MDS projects,” said Grant, who worked for Agriculture Canada.

“It was great to be around so many young people,” added Joan, a retired teacher, of the other younger volunteers at the project site.

As for spending their anniversary with MDS in Monte Lake, “it was like being at an all-inclusive resort,” joked Grant.

“We had all you can eat meals, a full schedule of daily activities, time in the sun and we got to meet people from across Canada.”

A perfect anniversary get-away, in other words.

John Longhurst, MDS Canada Communications

MDS needs volunteers in Monte Lake through the fall. Go here to learn more.

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