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Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Editorial: Volunteers make NOTL better for all

Niagara-on-the-Lake thrives on volunteerism.

And it’s so satisfying to see some of those volunteers recognized for the incredible number of hours they collectively spend helping our local organizations and non-profits.

The province typically holds a ceremony for its Ontario Volunteer Service Award winners, however due to COVID-19, the ceremony was a rather low-key online event this year.

It’s disappointing and unfortunate, said Sarah Kaufman, curator of the NOTL Museum. But that's life in the COVID era.

Many of this year’s award recipients didn’t even know they’d won an award until they were contacted by The Lake Report.

So, it’s our honour to make a big splash for these folks. They deserve it.

The Lake Report, like so many other NOTL organizations, relies greatly on the help of community volunteers.

Our managing editor, Kevin MacLean, works tirelessly for the paper to help us bring great, informative and accurate information to NOTL residents.

And writers like Tim Taylor, Jill Troyer, Brian Marshall, Dr. William Brown, Sarah Kaufman, Gail Kendall, Patty Garriock, Jessica Maxwell, Steve Hardaker, our History Unveiled writers Denise Ascenzo, Linda Fritz and Betsy Masson, plus a long list of others have helped us tell the fascinating stories they find in our community.

And it doesn’t end there.

Behind the scenes, folks like proofreader Susan Des Islets help us double-check the stories every Wednesday before we send the paper to press.

So, we understand first-hand the importance of recognizing volunteers for their hard work.

As our front-page story attests, the people honoured by the province are so wonderful that, when asked how it feels to be recognized, every one of them said it “feels good, but we’re not doing it for any recognition.”

So, we want to offer kudos and thanks to all of NOTL’s volunteers who have contributed in a positive way to our community.

Every year, organizations like Pleasant Manor and the NOTL Museum submit names to be considered for the volunteer awards.

And both leaders of those organizations acknowledge how hard it is to select the nominees every year (there’s a limit on how many people an organization can nominate).

In the words of Tim Siemens, Pleasant Manor’s CEO, the yearly winners are an important representation of a larger spirit of volunteers and community-minded individuals in NOTL.

Next time you see one of those volunteers in the community, even though they’re not looking for praise, let them know you appreciate their hard work.

For without them, we wouldn’t enjoy many of the great things this community has to offer.