Volunteer Impact_Grant Reeves

In the first community spotlight, highlighting people of New Ross who have made an impact on the Community, I would like to honor Grant Reeves for all his endless volunteer work he has done throughout the years.  I knew Grant as my 4H horse leader and through the light horse show at the Fair. Grant has always been a kind, generous person, always willing to share a laugh.  Many of you may have seen Grant the last few years around the fairgrounds with his oxygen tank and yet the decline of his lungs did not stop him from helping where needed. And then he was one of the few that successfully received a double lung transplant and now he has a new lease on life. Still helping, still volunteering, still shining! On behalf of the Community Grant, Thank you for ALL you have done and continue to do!

Grant started his involvement in Community groups by becoming involved with minor hockey and 4H when his boys were young.  He helped with the 4H light horse program from 1977 until 1982 when he became the leader, which he remained for 10 years.  Many past 4H members have fond memories of meetings at his house or adventures with him to judging events and the smell of his cherry tobacco in his pipe. Grant remained the 4H horse leader until around 1995 but that did not end his involvement with 4H or the horse world. Over the years he held such positions as South Shore Director on the 4H Council (91), Chair of the small livestock committee for NS 4H Council (92), Member of the SS Exhibition Committee (94&95), Co-General 4H leader (95), Clerk for the light horse classes at the SS Exhibition (97&99) and assisted with the 4H Provincial Show held in Bridgewater.  In 1991 Grant received the outstanding leadership award presented by the Lunenburg County 4H Council.

Grant wasn’t only involved in the 4H program, he joined the New Ross Farmers Association in 1980 and has been instrumental in developing the light horse show at the Fair.  In 2013/2014 he prepared a grant application and coordinated construction of a new riding ring, which included other improvements to the Fairgrounds including improved drainage and creation of new camping spaces where the old riding ring was located.  In 2015 he created a Facebook account for the Fair and also received a volunteer award from the Municipality of the District of Chester Council.  Grant held the president position with the farmers association from 2015-2020 helping with grant applications and supervising summer students.  In 2019 he assisted with grant applications and coordinated construction of a new multi purpose arena which is used for ox and horse pulls at the fair and a community skating rink in the winter.


Besides his work with 4H and the Farmers Association, Grant was an assistant coach, coach and manager for Chester Minor Hockey for over 6 years.  He was a scout leader for 1 year in the 80s and helped with Legion Bingo.  Grant has spent hundreds of hours working on projects for the Fairgrounds.  His heart lies in the Light Horse show which was started in approximately 1977 in nothing more than a roped off area on the property adjoining the fairgrounds and 6-7 entries. The horse show then moved to a small area down by the oxen barn. Then the first official ring was built parallel to highway 12.


Grant has always held a special interest in horses.  And in growing the horse show at the Fair into what it has become today.  Even by offering his own horses to those that wanted to show. Grant with lots of help from Janet helped the show grow from under 10 entries a year to anywhere from 30-50 entries per year coming from all over.  Grant has always made sure the Fair’s light horse show was an affordable and good place for young riders and horses to gain experience. He was always willing to lend a hand even when that meant helping carry a stubborn pony and it’s rider over the bridge in a trail class. Grant always had a great sense of humor and loads of patience.


In the mid 1970s Grant’s lung collapsed and lost some of its function.  He continued to volunteer and support the Community. In 2006 The COPD and the emphysema were getting worse and he went on disability at that time.  In December of 2010 he was admitted to hospital with pneumonia and was put on oxygen which he ended up on for years. It became a common sight to see Grant going with his oxygen tank and then eventually as his lung function continue to deteriorate, he could be spotted sporting around on “blueberry” his motorized scooter.  From May to August of 2020 Grant ended up in and out of hospital due to collapsed lungs multiple times.  It was then that a lung transplant was suggested.


Now most would be home resting after receiving news of this nature but not Grant!  I remember him announcing the horse show in August of 2021 less than a month before embarking on his journey to Toronto to await a transplant.  On September 2nd after months of tests and appointments Grant and Janet headed to Toronto, not knowing if or when they would return.


Once in Toronto there was a lot of waiting, some sight seeing, appointments, card games and visits with friends they met awaiting transplants as well.  March 29, 2022 the call came that a suitable set of lungs were going to be available.  And on March 31st Grant had a double lung transplant which took about 12 hours. He did really well but did experience Afib which happens in about ¼ to 1/3 of lung transplant patients.  There was covid to contend with and 3 weeks after the transplant 18 days of Rehab.  May 9th Grant was able to leave Rehab and return to the apartment he and Janet had been staying in.


More appointments, rehab, and weekly bloodwork and tests then on June 30th Grant and Janet were finally able to board a plane headed for home.  And once home sure enough Grant was back in action with a new lease on life and attended a Farmers Association meeting the week after arriving home!!


Grant recovered well even with a bout with Covid in September 2022.  He was able to start working in his Christmas trees again that fall, shearing and cutting them, something he hadn’t been able to do for at least 15 years!


Grant has had an incredible impact on the youth of this Community as well as in the development of the Community as a whole.  He continuous to have a smile and a good sense of humor.  He has made a remarkable recovery and even throughout his journey he still continued to volunteer and to see him going now without his oxygen tank and his scooter is remarkable.

Thank you Grant for all you have done and continue to do for New Ross!