As the Aug. 1 deadline approaches for acceptance of Nominations for Volunteer and Lake Association of the year, the OTC COLA is asking that residents honor the volunteers who share their time and talent, either individually or as a group.

The OTC COLA's Volunteer of the Year and Lake Association of the Year is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging volunteers to assist in protecting and preserving the lakes they love. Self-nominations are accepted.

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The Volunteer of the Year nominee criteria:

• Can be a past or present volunteer

• Has made a significant investment of their time and talent to protect and preserve their lake; or

• Has demonstrated an ability to bring people together and engage them in activities that protect and preserve the lake; or

• Has demonstrated an ability to bring about positive change.

The Lake Association of the Year nominee criteria:

Must be a present member of the OTC COLA; and

Successfully implemented a lake improvement project; or

Successfully implemented an educational or outreach program; or

Has substantially increased membership or participation of members; or

Has successfully partnered with the local/county/state or federal government or agencies.

In no more than two pages, describe the nominee's specific achievements. Please be sure to include the name and contact information for the person submitting the nomination, including email address and phone number; the name of the Lake Association/Volunteer, their contact information, including email addresses and phone numbers.

The letter of nomination should be emailed to: and electronically dated by Aug. 1. It may be mailed to The COLA Selection Committee, C/O Jerry Horgen, 41708 Grace Etta Road, Henning, MN 56551 and postmarked by Aug. 1. The awards presentations will be on Aug. 17 in the Otter Tail Community Rooms in the City of Ottertail.