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Citizens Recognized At Chamber Event

May 23, 2018
BY LAUREN MATTHEWS - Editor ( , Wetzel Chronicle

Tuesday, May 15 brought a night of recognition and honor to several area residents as the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce held its annual Community Awards reception and ceremony.

Those nominated for the Community Awards were nominated by the public. The public also was able to vote for the award recipient during a voting period.

The May 15 evening was filled with accolades from its beginning to end. Emcee Larry Tackett announced winners for the table decoration contest. Balloon Ovations won first place prize, while Peoples Bank took second place, and Olive Branch Animal Rescue received third place honors. Carla McBee was recognized as the Chamber's Board Member of the Year and also served as a guest speaker on the topic of Leadership.

Article Photos

Photos by Lauren Mathews
Pictured are winners of the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce’s Community Awards for 2018. From left are Leslie Lively, Educator of the Year; Joey Barker, Citizen of the Year; New Martinsville Police Department Sergeant Don Larsen, Employee of the Year; Jason Utt, Professional of the Year; Teran Malone, Youth Leadership of the Year; Mollie Baker, Entrepreneur of the Year; Erika and Rob Donaghy, Business Owner of the Year. Seated is Susan Scharf, Lighthouse Child Advocacy Center, Civic Organization of the Year; beside Scharf is Holden Rine, recipient of a Special Recognition award.

Two more Special Recognition Awards were given by the Chamber. Wetzel County resident Holden Rine received a special plaque for his acts of courage during Summer 2017. Rine had rescued his grandfather, Buck Rine, after Buck had fallen from a treestand.

Also, a Special Recognition recipient was Short Line School's Leslie Lively. Lively is an advisor to SLS' Engineer Energy Kids, who have garnered numerous awards for The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project. Lively is the 2018 recipient of the Bob Thompson Excellence in Energy Award, was Wetzel County's Teacher of the Year, and a finalist for the West Virginia Teacher of the Year honor.

On May 15, Lively was a recipient of the Community Award for "Educator of the Year."

Lively was one of four nominated for the award. Other nominees were Greg Metzger, Charleen Stokes, and Donald Taylor.

New Martinsville Police Department yielded some awards from the Chamber event. Patrolman Jason Utt was the winner of the "Professional of the Year" award, while Sergeant Don Larsen took home the award for "Employee of the Year." Other nominees for the Professional of the Year honor included Wetzel County Sheriff's Office Deputy Don Bordenkircher, Tom Cooper, Ray and Gary Ebert, Carman Harman, Roy Haught, and Dr. Amy Urbanek. Employee of the Year nominees, besides Sergeant Larsen, were David Fisher, Bob Gibb, Robby Parsons, and Michelle Smith.

Mollie Baker took home the Community Award for "Entrepreneur of the Year." Baker is from Ridge Runners catering service, which catered the May 15 Chamber dinner.

Valerie Fisher was also nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year.

Rob and Erika Donaghy of PJ's Pizza were named "Business Owner of the Year," while fellow nominees were Chad Chaplin, Randy Jay, Mike Scharf, and Ronnie Schoonover.

Nominees for "Civic Organization of the Year" were the Lighthouse Child Advocacy Center and the Wetzel County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and The Lighthouse CAC took home the honor.

The "Citizen of the Year" award went to Joey Barker, of the Shortline area. Other nominees recognized were Fran Caldwell, Joel Davis, Charles Goff, and Eric Yost.

The finale of the evening was the announcement of Magnolia High School student Teran Malone as the recipient of the Youth Leadership award. Malone was also the recipient of a $500 scholarship from New Martinsville Lions Club, presented by Nelson and Sandy Hachem.

Malone was one of four students nominated. Other nominees were Katherine Henderson, Hundred High School; Dexton McKinney, Magnolia High School; and Julianna Miller, Tyler Consolidated High School.

Businesses and organizations that decorated tables for the event included the following: Anytime Fitness (New Martinsville), Balloon Ovations, Bayer Heritage Federal Credit Union, Dennis Miller Doors & Windows, Carla McBee (Wetzel County Chamber), Holiday Inn, Jarvis Williams Funeral Homes, Joyce's Floral Bow-K, Mid Valley Healthcare, The Refuge Church, Olive Branch Animal Rescue, Peoples Bank, Regatta Fest, Shoe Sensation, WesBanco, West Virginia Northern Community College, Wetzel County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Williams Funeral Home, and WV Caring.



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