CHESTERVILLE – The Chesterville Record’s Carol Goddard is a recipient of this year’s Ontario Volunteer Services Award.

The virtual ceremony was held Feb. 8. Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism Parm Gill was one of the webinar presenters. He was joined by Canadian Mental Health Association volunteer coordinator Aleena Needham, and by Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries regional development advisor Joël Gauthier.

Goddard was nominated by the St. Lawrence Branch of the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada (UELAC) of which she’s been an active member for roughly 20 years. She’s served on the executive in a variety of roles. She’s also organized meetings and a couple of events.

The Ontario Volunteer Services Awards recognize volunteers who have been committed to an organization through dedicated service for an extended period. While adult nominees must have a minimum of five years logged with an organization, youth – those 24 years old or younger – need only two.

Organizations must be at least five years old before they can nominate volunteers for the award. Each organization is permitted to nominate nine volunteers. Adult nominees must be living residents of Ontario who actively volunteer in the province. They must not have received payment for their work or performed those services as part of their regular business or professional duties. In addition, the nominee must be active beyond simple membership in the organization.

Goddard said she was surprised and, although it’s not why she volunteers, she’s very happy to be nominated for the award. She joined UELAC because she is a Loyalist descendant.

While Ontario Volunteer Services Awards’ recipients are usually presented with a personalized certificate and lapel pin acknowledging their years of service during a recognition ceremony, this year’s recipients will receive their certificates and pins by mail, as the ceremony is to be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.