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Salute our youth

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Each day in Ontario, a young person displays courage in the face of adversity, performs a heroic act, or offers a simple gesture of kindness.

It’s up to you to put these young heroes in the spotlight.

Nominations are now being accepted by the Times for the 1997 Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Awards, sponsored by this newspaper and the Ontario Community Newspapers Association (OCNA). Since 1981, this program has paid tribute to young people between the ages of six and 18.

Some are recognized for the service they perform in their communities, or for their heroic responses in times of crisis.

Others display courage and tenacity as they strive to overcome the challenges of living with a disability or illness. Or they may exemplify the qualities and characteristics of a "good kid."

Up to 12 people are chosen to receive the award each year, presented by Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor during a special ceremony held in Toronto. Recipients also participate in a reception and group portrait at Queen’s Park, and receive $200 and a Junior Citizen pin.

This isn’t a competition. There are no winners or losers because each nominee--and there are hundreds each year--is a "star" in his or her own right. All nominees are presented with a certificate stating that they were nominated for this distinct honour, and have contributed greatly to their communities.

Here’s an opportunity to search out the "stars" in our own community, and give Ontario’s young people the recognition they deserve.

Talk to your neighbours, ask around at your church or neighbourhood grocery store, or contact your school’s principal or teachers. Nominations have been received from service clubs, schools, volunteer groups, churches, sports organizations, and individuals.

Forms are available at the Times, with nominations for the 1997 awards being accepted until Oct. 31.

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