There has never been a shortage of volunteer spirit in the High Country. Indeed, we would argue that this is one facet of “mountain life” that is inseparable from the idea of “mountain living.”

But because many volunteers don’t do it for recognition or pomp and circumstance, it’s up to us to spotlight those who go above and beyond in serving our community.

One way of doing this is by submitting nominations for the 2019 Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards.

This awards program will celebrate its 40th edition this year, and is one of the most recognizable ways to honor those who work for their community. Each year, each county has the opportunity to submit up to 10 nominations from a local pool of individuals, groups and a single paid director. Categories are broad, and include family, group/team, youth, senior, perseverance in voluntarism, faith, business, national service and director of volunteers. Awards are also given out in several service categories, such as veteran or animals.

The odds are that you know at least one — and probably many more — individuals or groups deserving of recognition in one of these arenas. Make a difference for those who make a difference in our community.

Nomination forms are available at and must be submitted by Jan. 15. More information is available at the website or from High Country United Way at (828) 265-2111.

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