2018 Governor's Service Awards

9/6/2018

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Volunteer West Virginia is honored to host the 2018 Governor's Service Awards on Thursday, September 6th, 2018.

This year 11 recipients are to receive West Virginia’s most prestigious volunteer award, the 2018 Governor’s Service Awards. The Governor’s Service Awards honor individuals and organizations who roll up their sleeves to solve community problems in innovative ways. 

The event will honor and recognize some of West Virginia's most outstanding volunteers. Meet them below! 

Youth Category 

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Kiara Stevens, of Wellsburg, created a free cheer clinic to empower young girls in her community. A role model in Wellsburg, over the past year Kiara has spent countless hours volunteering her time to teach area youth gymnastics who couldn’t afford to attend tumbling classes.  See Kiara's story here


Adult Category 
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Melodee Price, a superstar in Elkins, developed the Make It Shine Program to attract tourists to Elkins and to encourage residents to take pride in their community. Over the past year, Melodee has led volunteers in the program to organize trash pick-ups, river clean ups, landscaping projects, and helped local businesses spruce up their storefronts, dumpsters, and much more. See Melodee's story here

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Kandi Habeb, of Parkersburg, works day and night to take care of community cats in Wood County.  Kandi started the Save A Kitty Feral Cat Program, a volunteer led team, which provides free spay/neuter and vaccines to community cats.  This year alone the program is expected to treat over 1,000 cats in the community. See Kandi's story here

Senior Category 

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Jo Ann Harmon, of Lahmansville, couldn’t be more active in her county and state. She encourages others in her community to join and volunteer in the multiple groups she shares her time with, including the Community Educational Outreach Service, which sponsors multiple community events, and 4-H, where she serves as the president of the Grant County 4-H All-Stars, and as a leader of the Step Ahead 4-H club, and much more. See Jo Ann's story here.

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Kenneth Springer, of Hillsboro, has such a deep connection to Watoga State Park that he sold his home and moved to the area after his first visit. A labor of love, he clears nearly 40 miles of trails every two weeks during his morning runs. Kenneth shares his love and knowledge of the forest through workshops, and the Watoga Foundation’s Blog and Facebook posts. See Ken's story here

Family Category 
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As a family of thirteen the Ash Family has made their presence known in Clarksburg and at the William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital. This year they helped create the Blessing Buckets Program to raise mental health awareness, played a crucial role in restoring the hospital’s historic cemeteries, helped to support literacy efforts, and coordinated activities for nursing homes throughout the state. See the Ash Family's story here

Lifetime Achievement 

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Paula Osborne, of Berkeley Springs, has brought the game of tennis to Morgan County through selfless leadership, an uncountable number of hours, and dedication to see success for every child she meets. Paula’s unwavering drive to have tennis thrive in her community has yielded afterschool programs, summer camps, spring and fall clinics, college scholarships, grants, and the creation of a varsity tennis program. See Coach Paula's story here

Organization Category 

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The Tri-State Literacy Council offers free tutoring for adults who want to improve their reading, writing, math, or life skills in Cabell County and the surrounding areas.  This year, 68 volunteer tutors served 76 adult learners. Thanks to the help of volunteer tutors, every adult learner in the program reached one of their stated goals – including receiving their high school equivalency.  See the Tri-State Literacy Council's story here

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Faith In Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley supports the independent living of seniors throughout Kanawha and Putnam County. Volunteers make friendly phone calls and visits, provide transportation to medical appointments and the grocery store, and help with household chores and tasks. In 2018, over 200 volunteers helped 500 seniors remain independent in their community. See Faith in Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley's story here.

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Elkins Depot Welcome Center volunteers play a vital role in the community, welcoming over 44,000 visitors each year.  The welcome center’s 20 volunteers go above and beyond to provide personalized and professional attention, which boosts the local economy by guiding visitors to area attractions and businesses.  In 2018, the Elkins Depot Welcome Center received a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, for the third year in a row. See the Elkins Depot Welcome Center's story here.

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The Rotary Clubs of Martinsburg and Shepherdstown are determined to address human trafficking in their community. Over the past year, Rotarians developed a community awareness campaign that included billboards and anti-human trafficking training, which resulted in 92 women’s shelter counselors receiving certification. Rotarians also led the charge to require changes in legislature to require all public restrooms to post the toll-free hotline to report human trafficking. See the Rotary Clubs of Martinsburg and Shepherdstown's story here.

West Virginia Leadership Awards

Additionally this year Volunteer West Virginia is recognizing one individual and two organizations who have displayed tremendous leadership and accomplishment. Their actions have saved lives, rallied volunteers, and provided a safe a haven for West Virginia’s youth.  


The Disaster Volunteer Leadership Award 
 
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Photo Credit: Parkersburg News and Sentinel 

The Disaster Volunteer Leadership Award goes to an individual or organization whose volunteer service makes a measurable impact on the disaster preparedness or safety of West Virginia families.  After installing the smoke alarm that saved his daughter’s life, Chuck Clegg of Parkesburg, became the Red Cross Smoke Alarm Champion and mobilized his community to get involved. In the last year alone, Chuck has installed more than 1,000 smoke alarms, ensuring 500 homes are safer throughout West Virginia. In 2017, Chuck also responded to more than 125 disasters such as fires and floods and has dedicated 72 days away from home to help those impacted by large scale disasters through the Red Cross. See Chuck Clegg's story here

Servant Leadership Award 

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The 2018 Servant Leadership Award goes to the Day to Serve initiative for modelling servant leadership in West Virginia communities. Day to Serve is an annual volunteer initiative that unites people from different faiths, races, cultures, and backgrounds. The multi-state collaboration encourages community members to work together, find common ground, and get involved in strengthening communities. Day to Serve began in 2012 as a collaboration between the Governors of West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and the Mayor of Washington DC. Since the project started in 2012, over 287 thousand volunteers have served at over 7 thousand service projects throughout West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. See Day to Serve's Story here

The Red Wagon Award 
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The Red Wagon Award is given to an outstanding organization devoted to improving the lives of young people by working to provide them with the key supports known as the Five Promises. These Five Promises are: Caring Adults, Safe Places, A Healthy Start, An Effective Education, and Opportunities to Help Others. The recipient of the 2018 Red Wagon Award is Save the Children. Save the Children after school and summer programs ensure that children have safe spaces to learn, proper nutrition, and caring adults to serve as mentors and role modelsThe program also provides opportunities for children to volunteer in their community. Last year, a summer camp in Calhoun County worked to improve their community’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The students planted, cared for, and harvested the fruits and vegetables.  A farmer’s market was held on a weekly basis to ensure all children and families had fresh produce throughout the summer months. Last year Save the Children served 3 thousand West Virginia children. See Save the Children's Story here

Congratulations to this year's recipients of the Governor's Service Awards and West Virginia Leadership Awards!

Contact Information

Dana Bryant, Dana.a.Bryant@wv.gov

Volunteer West Virginia

600 Capitol Street, Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: 304.558.0111 | Toll Free: 800.WVHELPS | Fax: 304.558.0101

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