By CHARLES OWENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Two area civic organizations, and an entire zip code, have been named the recipients of the William Myers Community Spirit Award for 2012.
“The cast of Radio Active are pleased to recognize Historic Pocahontas, Inc., The Summit Players, and the people of 24740 as shining examples of community advocates,” Craig Hammond, host of the radio show, said.
Hammond, co-host Russ Hatfield, and producer Matt Deal identified the three groups for their contributions to, what they call, “The Grand Area,” which basically is where ever the signal of WHIS and WTZE can be received.
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.
Hammond issued a press release Monday explaining why the three groups were selected for the annual award.
“The good folks at Historic Pocahontas has laid the ground work for what we believe will result in the preservation of the story of our region,” Hammond said. “Let’s face it. Pocahontas was the spark that ignited this region 133 years ago. We further believe the efforts of Historic Pocahontas will eventually lead to a first class walking trail and tourist train. It may not be in our lifetime. But it will happen. There’s a new generation that will continue the work. There is no quit in them.”
Hammond said the Summit players are the only recipients of the award to be recognized twice.
“What can we say? The Summit Players have been entertaining audiences for nearly a half century,” Hammond added. “The impact they have had on our community cannot be measured. They have been recognized as the premiere theater group in the state — and it shows.”
Hammond said all residents living in the greater Princeton area, or zip code 24740, also will share in this year’s award.
“Greater Princeton has the Chuck Mathena Center, a community hospital that is second to none, recreation facilities, museums, a library which has been recognized statewide as the best example of adaptive reuse of a historic building, a can-do attitude that’s contagious, and much more. The controversial decision to move city hall to the downtown is a move that will never be regretted. Every time a municipality has moved its seat of government to its historic town center it has transformed the town beyond belief. We’ll look back 10 years from now and say that was an all-star move. And Valerie Hendricks, and the tourism information center, has been unbelievable. Not only do they greet everyone with a smile, whether you are a tourist or a stranded motorist, they go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure they help whoever is in need.”
“Our three recipients all have something in common: They have taken what exists and built upon it,” Hammond added. “There’s a line from a song by Bob Dylan that says “strengthen the things that remain. This year’s honorees have done exactly that.”
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