OUR VIEW: It’s time to thank great volunteers

Hearts of the Community Awards luncheon and ceremony are tomorrow – tickets are available

How many of our lives have been touched by volunteers?

It could be as simple as the folks who chip your Christmas tree after it’s all dried out in the new year; the people who serve up hamburgers at community festivals for a donation to a worthy cause; the teenager who shovels his neighbour’s driveway when it snows or who rakes her neighbour’s yard in fall.

Volunteers drive seniors to their appointments, then bring them back home. They spend time with people who might otherwise be lonely, playing cards or just having a chat. They organize fundraisers and rally marches, clean our beaches and parks. They educate us about a multitude of topics.

Without volunteers, life would be difficult and, for many, bleak. Yet they do this work for no pay and their only compensation is seeing improvement in the lives of people affected positively by their efforts.

To recognize these monumental contributions, Beacon Community Services and the Peninsula News Review pair up every year to host the Hearts of the Community Awards. Tomorrow is the 14th annual awards ceremony, held at the Mary Winspear Centre. Every nominee whose name was put forward will be honoured at the ceremony and the deserving winners will be announced.

That the event, which includes a free luncheon, often fills to capacity shows how much the Peninsula loves its volunteers. We hope it will be no different this year. To make sure you get in, be sure to pick up your free tickets to the event as soon as possible. They are available from the Peninsula News Review office at 6-9843 Second St., any Beacon Peninsula thrift store, Beacon Community Services’ 9860 Third St. office, and the Shoal Activity Centre.

We’ll see you at the awards event tomorrow.