BRACEBRIDGE — Jean Polak’s devotion to Ontario and her hometown has been described as “a gift to her community.”

A commitment to community has earned Jean Polak recognition by the province for her work on behalf of the citizens of Ontario.

The Bracebridge lawyer and Rotarian was recognized by the Ontario government recently as one of eight distinguished individuals for their contributions to their communities and the province, with the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship, the province’s second-highest civilian honour.

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, joined by Vincent Ke, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, invested the recipients with their medals at a ceremony at Queen’s Park March 6.

“I am honoured to invest this year’s recipients … all of whom have demonstrated a common devotion to Ontario,” said Dowdeswell.

“Good citizenship is the foundation of a society that aspires to be resilient. It is fundamentally about how we live together and what we can expect from one another. The civic leadership of these awardees is helping to shape our future as well as our present.”

In a government release, Polak was described as “a gift to her community.”

It said: “Whether defending the most vulnerable, assisting those in difficult times, protecting the environment or enriching the community, she works and volunteers with both enthusiasm and compassion.”

“Congratulations to the honourees,” added Michael Tibollo, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sport.

“These individuals have devoted their time, passion, expertise and efforts to make positive change and a lasting impact in their communities and the province. They stand as model Ontarians who exemplify civic-mindedness, integrity and community leadership.” Mayor Graydon Smith said: “On behalf of Town Council and the residents of Bracebridge, we would like to congratulate Jean on this accomplishment. She is a role model and inspiration for all people who seek to help build our community.”