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Michelle Hebein just loves the spirit of Deltans when it comes to lending their time to a community event. And judging from the numbers at the Tour de Delta each year, the feeling is mutual.
Hebein, the volunteer coordinator for this year's edition of the tour said the three-day, three-race event that runs July 6-8 requires 240 volunteer positions to be filled.
"Usually, about 140 people fill those positions," Hebein said, "because they volunteer for either one, two or even the whole three days."
Making up a big part of that contingent who give their time are "regulars," some of whom have been helping out since the first race year in 2001.
"It's such an amazing weekend, it's fun, the volunteers just love to be here and take part in all the excitement," Hebein said.
This year, the greatest need for volunteers falls on the position of road marshals, particularly for the Whitespot Road Race on July 8 in both North Delta and Tsawwassen.
To find out more about volunteering at this year's races, visit tourdedelta.com and click on the "volunteers" tab, or email email@example.com.
Another one of Hebein's local favourites is the fact she can get grapes grown in North Delta for her concord grape pie recipe.
"A friend of mine grows them and I get boxes of them each year in August," she said, adding the big, purple fruit also gets made into jelly.
"A lot of people don't realize you can make grape pie," Hebein said. "You're used to having the regular berry pies, but I didn't even know you could use the concord grapes until I looked it up because I needed more recipes to use the grapes I had."
1 recipe pastry for 9-inch double crust pie
5 cups of concord grapes
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 pinch of salt
3/4 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp. butter
Wash grapes, remove and save the skins.
Place grape pulp in large saucepan. Mash a few at the bottom to release their juice.
Cook over medium low heat until grapes come to a full boil.
Remove pulp from heat and press through a food mill to remove the seeds.
Combine pulp and skins in a large bowl.
Stir in lemon juice.
In a separate bowl, mix sugar, flour and salt. Stir into grape mixture.
Pour filling into pastry crust and dot with butter or margarine.
Cover with second pastry shell.
Flute edges and cut little slits in the top crust for steam to escape.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes, or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through the slits in top crust.