District volunteers honoured by province

The Ontario government honoured 78 citizens in the Kenora-Rainy River districts on Monday night at the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards ceremony in Atikokan.
Among the district volunteers honoured were seven from the Fort Frances area, including:
•Marnie Cumming (Girl Guides of Canada—Voyageur Area)—30 years;
•Orville Eyolfson (Halkirk Fire Protection Team)—10 years;
•Delores Eyolfson (Halkirk Fire Protection Team)—10 years;
•Bill Fisher (Halkirk Fire Protection Team)—10 years;
•Bea Galbraith (Halkirk Fire Protection Team)—10 years;
•Mike Leatherdale (Halkirk Fire Protection Team)—10 years; and
•Kami Leatherdale (Halkirk Fire Protection Team)—10 years.
Ellen Chojko-Bolec of Stratton, meanwhile, was honoured for her 25 years with the Rainy River District 4-H Association.
The awards ceremony was held at the Atikokan Intergenerational Centre for Arts and Alternatives.
“The volunteer sector is one of the pillars of our society and its contribution is the lifeblood of every community in Ontario,” Citizenship minister Mike Colle noted in a press release issued yesterday.
“Volunteers bring a special brand of caring to Ontario’s landscape,” he added. “They are committed, hard-working individuals who make an outstanding personal investment in the communities they serve.
“Volunteers Build Communities” is this year’s theme for the 2005 Volunteer Service Award.
The Ontario Volunteer Service Awards recognize five-, 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, 30-, 40-, and 50-plus continuous years of service to a single organization. Youth are recognized for two or more years of service.
All award winners receive a stylized trillium pin and a personalized certificate.
This year, the government is honouring more than 8,000 volunteers in 39 separate ceremonies across the province.
As well, 17 Outstanding Achievement Awards for Volunteerism also are being presented to individuals, groups, or businesses for superlative contributions to the voluntary sector.
A selection committee consisting of community representatives chooses these recipients annually.
The Outstanding Achievement Awards for Volunteerism highlight volunteerism of outstanding calibre rather than years of service contributed to a group.
They are awarded during Volunteer Service Awards ceremonies to individuals, groups, or businesses that have made superlative contributions, or provided significant support, to the voluntary sector.
The ministry’s honours and awards division maintains a database and virtual gallery celebrating the accomplishments of Ontario volunteers.
The site can be accessed through the ministry’s website at www.gov.on.ca/citizenship