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New River Valley – Leading Lights Volunteer Award

New River Valley Leading Lights acknowledges and honors volunteers across the NRV who are making community-changing impacts, culminating in an annual celebratory banquet. Learn more about us, and our history.

2023 nominations are closed.

Leading Lights nominations for 2022-2023 are closed.

Nominations are encouraged for those volunteering in the areas of community service, human service, recreational sports, environmental service, arts and culture. People who have been nominated previously for Leading Lights, but who have not been named a Distinguished Recipient, MAY BE NOMINATED AGAIN.  Indeed, re-nomination is encouraged. (Members of the Board of Directors of NRV Leading Lights are ineligible for nomination while serving.)

At least one community volunteer in each county of the New River Valley and the City of Radford will be honored.  Two awards will be presented in both the high school and college categories.

Nominations are accepted ONLY online. Individual nominations are sought (couple nominations are accepted, but group nominations are NOT).

NRV Leading Lights Award Selection Criteria

  • Commitment to Volunteerism. Nominee devotes a significant amount of available time to community involvement.
  • Achievement. The nomination must reflect the actual accomplishment achieved through voluntary service—what got done?
  • Community Need. The service performed must address community or human needs – why is the nominee’s area of service important?
  • Special AspectsThe nomination must reflect the special aspects of the nominee’s community service. How did the nominee demonstrate leadership of an existing program or show initiative in beginning a new venture?
  • Ongoing Involvement. Nominee demonstrates ongoing rather than a one-time activity, with the exception of outstanding service in crisis situations, which may be short-term.
  • Impact. Nominee should have directly improved the lives of others.  What has changed as a result of their community service?

New River Valley Leading Lights’ vision is to strengthen our community by inspiring a culture of volunteerism. Our mission is to acknowledge and honor volunteers across the NRV who are making community-changing impacts, culminating in an annual celebratory banquet. Our core values are integrity, excellence, community, and volunteerism. We believe in the value of volunteering and seek to enhance the culture of volunteerism through our annual banquet and other relevant activities. As a partner, we will complement the work of other organizations in the community. We will preserve and honor the rich stories of volunteerism in our community. And in the spirit of integrity and excellence, we will be good stewards and transparent about our operations.

Previous Winners


Past Recipients & Nominees

The Leading Lights Steering and Selection Committees owe a debt of gratitude to the outstanding volunteers of the New River Valley, to the numerous individuals and organizations who saw a deserving individual and took the time to nominate him or her. Please be reminded each year that while Distinguished Recipients cannot be nominated for a Leading Light again, persons who are nominated and only honorees may be nominated again in subsequent years.