"I volunteer and I am happy; I study therefore I grow up."
This was the slogan that captured the mood of the audience at Beijing's Century Theatre last night where a ceremony was held to honor the capital's 10 most outstanding volunteers.
Certificates and trophies were awarded by representatives from 17 of the city's organizations, including the Beijing Volunteers' Association, to the "Top 10".
The recipients were praised and recognized for their various efforts in the voluntary sector, caring for the poor, the handicapped and the infirm, as well as looking after injured animals and the environment.
Wang Weili, was recognized for spending the past six years narrating movie scripts to blind people so they could enjoy the latest movies.
The only non-Chinese winner was 64-year-old retired US Army colonel, David Tool, who is now a professor at Beijing International Studies University. He told China Daily that he volunteered to correct the awkwardly translated English signs in Beijing because he refused to be an "old and useless" man.
The volunteers' stories also flamed the audience, many of whom have already applied to be volunteers at next year's Olympic Games.
As of yesterday, 281,165 people had applied to be Olympic volunteers. The recruitment of volunteers from the mainland began last August, while the recruitment of volunteers from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, overseas Chinese and foreign countries began yesterday.
The construction of venues for the Beijing 2008 Olympics is on schedule, and the organizers say they expect all venues, except the National Stadium, to be finished by the end of the year.
Source: China Daily