We have written many times about how Niagara-on-the-Lake's community volunteers are the backbone of this very special town.
Without the hard work, whether in the spotlight or behind the scenes, of literally hundreds of helpers who volunteer in a wide range of capacities, many of NOTL's organizations simply couldn't operate.
And many more important community activities – like the annual Terry Fox Run, spearheaded by volunteer Joan King – might fall by the wayside. Or at least not be as vibrant and successful as they are now.
It was gratifying to see Niagara-on-the-Lake council on Monday night single out and celebrate the work of some of our town's dedicated volunteers – and to publicly thank the 11 recipients whose work is emblematic of what being part of a community really means.
The Lord Mayor's Volunteer Awards are a worthy and admirable way to honour the work done by so many individuals.
So kudos to all those who were honoured. You can read all about them on our front page and page 2, but we also would like to formally highlight them – and applaud them and all the other NOTL volunteers who give of themselves to help our community.
Thank you to: the aforementioned Joan King, for whom a special award was created; Queenston Residents Association founders Marilyn and Jim Armstrong for community and civic engagement; Niki Walker for her work on diversity, equity and inclusivity; Caitlyn Neufeld, for her helping children and youth; Rosemary Goodwin for sports and recreation; Kyra Simone for her ongoing environmental efforts; Carrie Robinson for her work with a variety of causes, including Daughters of the Vote; teenager Samantha Fretz, winner of the volunteer under 16 award; “Santa” Tim Taylor, who works tirelessly supporting seniors, in particular NOTL Palliative Care; and Lise Andreana, chair of the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre, who was honoured with the culture award.