The Golden Rule Lightkeepers Awards — a partnership between the United Way and The Daily News — along with the City of Jacksonville’s Fabric of Our Community Award will be presented at this year’s luncheon on Friday

“Excellence” will be recognized this week at a luncheon to honor community volunteers.

The Golden Rule Lightkeepers Awards — a partnership between the United Way and The Daily News — along with the City of Jacksonville’s Fabric of Our Community Award will be presented at this year’s luncheon on Friday at noon at the Courtyard by Marriott in Jacksonville.

The awards are something United Way Volunteer Onslow Director Shelly Kieweg said highlight the accomplishments of local volunteers.

“When we recognize excellence, we acknowledge volunteer efforts that go above and beyond, which in turn makes them feel proud of their own accomplishments and want to continue to volunteer for us,” Kieweg said. “Volunteers are priceless. They are the backbone and add value to nonprofit organizations.”

For recipients to qualify for an award, they must be a volunteer in a capacity that helps the community and be nominated as Lightkeepers, from which the Golden Rule winners are also selected, by an individual or a community agency, Kieweg said. Golden Rule Award winners will then be nominated for the N.C. Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.

The Fabric of our Community Awards — new this year — will recognize community members who “through a lifetime of work, have helped achieve higher civic education, improved the civic infrastructure of our community or performed efforts to advance citizenship, citizen participation and encouragement of our community.”

For Kieweg, the experience of watching volunteers receive these awards is truly moving. It’s something she said makes the staff’s hearts happy.

“Most volunteers don’t volunteer for recognition,” she said. “They volunteer because they are giving back to their community, and that is what matters most. To see their faces when they are being recognized is priceless.”

Kieweg said that while no award can match the satisfaction a volunteer can receive from serving a neighbor in need, the event is the least they can do. She encouraged the public to nominate individuals who do much to make the community better. To nominate a volunteer, visit JDNews.com/UnsungHeroes to fill out a nomination form.

The luncheon, catered by The Flame, is open to the public. Those who wish to attend can RSVP at UWOnslow.org. Tickets, which are $15 each, can be paid for online or at the door.