Bluefield Daily Telegraph
— The recipients of the 2012 William A. Myers Community Spirit awards gathered Tuesday morning at the offices of the Adventure Radio Group in Bluefield where they were recognized for their efforts to better their community.
Gordon Lambert, president of the McDowell County Commission, had the unique honor of accepting the award on behalf of all of the citizens of McDowell County. David Thompson, chief of the Green Valley Glenwood Volunteer Fire Department, accepted the award on behalf of the Mercer County Firefighters Association and Lynn and Carl Burnette accepted a certificate on behalf of the Bailey Log House Committee.
The annual award is presented by the Radio Active morning show on WHIS-1440 AM and WTZE-1470 AM in memory of Myers, a long-time community servant who dedicated his life to making the region a better place to live. Myers, who passed away in 2000, is the father of Bluefield Daily Telegraph Editor Samantha Perry.
Hammond said members of the Mercer County Firefighters Association have been putting out fires, responding to accidents and rescuing animals for years with a rate structure that is more than a quarter century old. Hammond said members of the Bailey Log House Committee have spent countless hours helping to restore an important part of the region’s history.
“And last but not least, we would like to present our final reward to the people of McDowell County who have been an inspiration to us for as long as I can remember,” Hammond said. “And when you think about it, McDowell County actually paid the bills for southern West Virginia over the last century, and there are a lot of successful people in our region with roots to McDowell County. So you are drinking some good water down there. There is a no-quit attitude down there. My brother and sister-in-law moved to McDowell County, and they never came back. They love it.”
Burnette said the volunteers of the Bailey Log House Committee were honored to be recognized with a community spirit award. Burnette said a dedication ceremony has been set for July 14 beginning at noon at the log house.
“As far as the firefighters go, we feel honored that they are recognizing us,” Thompson said.
Lambert said the citizens of McDowell County continue to endure despite challenges such as the floods of 2001 and 2002.
“It just kind of shows what kind of people we have in the county,” Lambert said. “They keep rebuilding. They just keep bouncing back.”
While individuals and groups have been honored over the years with the community spirit award, this year was the first time an entire county — and all of its citizens — were honored.
“McDowell County has paid the bills for southern West Virginia for 90 years,” Hammond said. “In 1970 it was still the largest coal producer in the world. Since then, the people of McDowell County have faced more challenges and demands than any county in the state, and yet their spirit is an inspiration to all. The people of McDowell County have seen their share of natural disasters, economic set backs and other disappointments, however they are a hardy and resilient people who make us proud.”
The radio station has been presenting the William A. Myers Community Spirit Award since 2004.
Myers’ wife, Nancy C. Myers, passed away in March of 2006. He has five children: William E. Myers of Birmingham, Ala.; Pam Krondon of River Road, Bramwell; Ann White of Princeton; Ed Myers of Princeton and North Carolina; and Perry, of Duhring.
— Contact Charles Owens at firstname.lastname@example.org
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