On December 1, 2005 in Burbank, California, USDF honored Paul Cormier of Acushnet, Maine as the 2005 recipient of the USDF Volunteer of the Year Award. The award winner was announced at the USDF Salute Gala by Sam Barish, USDF President. Cormier is well-known in New England as a volunteer who serves in many capacities, both at the local and national level. He has been a competitor, a volunteer, a president of two GMOs, a technical delegate, and an event organizer. This year, after volunteering on their board for the past 11 years, he became the first male president of the New England Dressage Association - USDF's second largest GMO with more than 1,800 members. He was also president of the Heritage Dressage Association for 18 years, from 1986 to 2004. Cormier served as the Region 8 Coordinator for the Technical Delegates Council, a member of the Adult Clinics Implementation Committee, and for many years has been a GMO delegate to the Annual Convention.
The presentation at the Salute Gala included a personal speech prepared by Dr. Barish; a picture collage of Cormier in his many volunteer roles; a $500 gift certificate, and a beautiful bronze perpetual trophy known as "Exuberance." Assisting in the presentation was Lisa Gorretta of The Paddock Saddlery, the sponsor for this prestigious award.
The USDF Volunteer of the Year award is a prestigious award honoring one outstanding volunteer who has contributed on a national basis to USDF's mission: "dedicated to education, the recognition of achievement, and the promotion of the sport of dressage."
Nominees must have volunteered at least 25 hours during the current year on any USDF-related project at the local, regional, or national level. They should have demonstrated consistent and cumulative volunteer activities over the past five years at USDF-recognized events, and have been a USDF group, intercollegiate/interscholastic, or participating member for at least five years.