Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 15, 2014

William Myers ‘Community Spirit’ award honors local citizens

BLUEFIELD — Two individuals, and two community organizations, were honored Tuesday as the recipients of the 2014 William Myers “Community Spirit” awards.

Craig Hammond and crew members of  WHIS’s Radio Active were on hand to present the awards to the McDowell County Humane Society, the Blue Mountain Performing Arts, Donnie Kensinger and Edward J. “Eddie” McQuail II. The annual award is presented 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.

In introducing this year’s recipients, Hammond said Sharon Sagety and her volunteer team at the McDowell County Humane Society has “taken the humane treatment of pets to a new level.” He referred to the volunteers as “modern day Florence Nightingales” when it comes to the treatment of defenseless animals.

Hammond said the Blue Mountain Performing Arts has for “more than three quarters of a century” helped to make the region an “important cultural destination” by working to bring distinguished international artists to the community.

Hammond said Kensinger has provided instruction, inspiration and entertainment to tens of thousands of people — including all of his students over the years who have gone on to succeed in musical excellence — over a period of 51 years.

And Hammond called McQuail “a walking encyclopedia” of the region who has provided assistance to historians, researchers, high school reunion planners and civic clubs for decades. “We like to say that he who has the archives gets to be the archivist,” Hammond said.

“I feel very honored,” McQuail said of receiving the award. “I know people have said they think I have a good memory. And I like to think that I have a good memory.”

Sagety said the McDowell County Humane Society is honored to be recognized for its ongoing efforts to rescue and find news homes for hundreds of animals.

“We try to rescue as many as we can,” Sagety said. “We work on trying to get them homes. We only have one paid employee. Everyone else is a volunteer. Federal inmates help with cleaning at the shelter. The rest are all volunteers.”

Sagety said the volunteers at the no-kill shelter will be transporting another 26 animals today to regional rescue groups.

Bryant Moxley, who accepted the award on behalf of the Blue Mountain Performing Arts, said the association is honored to have been able to serve the community for more than 78 years.

 Kensinger said he too was honored to be able to serve and give back to his community.

 Hammond was joined in presenting the awards Tuesday by Radio Active regulars Russ Hatfield, Matt Deal and Mike McClanahan.

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 Samantha Perry of Duhring.

Radio Active, now in its 13th year, airs every weekday morning on WHIS (1440 AM) from 9:05 am to 9:59 am.

— Contact Charles Owens at

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