Association of West Virginia Solid Waste Authorities

2004 Volunteer of the Year

 

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VOLUNTEER OF YEAR AWARD FOR 2004      

 

This years volunteer will join the rank of others who have received this prestigious award. Previous winners include Allan Babcock of Marion County, the late Frederick Clark of Randolph County, the late Roger King of Wood County, Denver Enoch of Ritchie County, Edwin C. “Bud” Weigle of Tyler County, Walter Swiger of Harrison County, Harry Reiter of Brooke County, John Tuckwiller of Greenbrier County and last years winner Sarah Douglas of Wirt County Solid Waste Authority.

I’d like to thank the Selection Committee members, Tammy Bonar, Alice Jo Buzzard, Bridget Grounds, and Dr. Ralph Taylor, for their work in selecting the Volunteer of the Year.

West Virginia is fortunate to have so many fine volunteers serving on its solid waste authorities, and it is a special honor to be singled-out and recognized among your peers as the Volunteer of the Year.

It is the highest honor that this Association bestows upon a solid waste authority volunteer member.

This years recipient grew up during the great depression and this experience planted the seed of “reuse, make do, or do without.” Lack of money in the family and in the community as well, instilled the principals of participation, cooperation and helping one’s neighbor...all attributes that contributed to a life’s philosophy that has the ethic of volunteerism as a major re-occurring theme.

In this volunteers’ earlier years, summers away from college were spent volunteering time to work in a state park restaurant and making cotton mattresses for the family and other families in need.

During the second World War with resources scarce, this volunteer and family recycled tin cans, glass jars, paper, cardboard and of course clothing.

In the early 1950's this volunteer and his or her spouse, for a fee, established only the second cable television service in the state. However, they voluntarily provided this service, as well as televisions, to the local schools and the community’s nursing home, at no cost whatsoever.

Other volunteer achievements, just to name a few, included being a Sunday School Teacher every Sunday afternoon for twelve years, making and baking 20 to 30 loaves of bread each week for ten years to raise money for the Chapel, working as a volunteer for one entire summer at the local high school, patching plaster, painting, cleaning floors and making other needed improvements, volunteering one whole year to help improve the appearance of the towns elementary school and its playground, donating and maintaining, to this day, flower pots located throughout the town, and as you can guess this volunteer provides the flowers and waters them regularly. Also, our volunteer helped organize a craft store in the county to sell locally made crafts and manned this innovative craft shop three days a week for over 3 years.

If all of this were not enough, our volunteer is an active member and Chair of a county planning and development council, served as a volunteer on the Memorial Hospital Board for six years, working tirelessly to get a medical facility reopened to provide medical services to the area and to hire local physicians so that our young medical graduates have an opportunity to locate back home, if they so desire.

This special person once served in an elected capacity for fifteen years as a member of the town’s council and later as its Mayor, and as you would expect donated the bulk of the salary back to the community for its betterment.

This years volunteer has been a solid waste authority Board member for 16 years, currently serving as the Chairman after being duly elected to that capacity by the Authority’s other board of directors in July of 1998. During these 16 years this individual has only missed one board meeting.

Through this volunteer’s leadership as Chairman, the solid waste authority has made an incredible turnaround and is a success story in the realm of public entities.

Through this volunteer’s leadership as Chairman, the solid waste authority has made an incredible turnaround and is a success story in the realm of public entities.

In the early 1990's the Authority made a commitment to build two solid waste transfer stations to serve the needs of a five-county area. Several major users later defected in favor of direct haul to out-of-area landfills. The Authority, of course, was faced with operating two DEP approved facilities in an environmentally compliant manner, but with a significant loss in tonnage and revenue. As a result of this, the Authority began accumulating an unbearable amount of debt. In fact, the Authority looked into the aspects of public bankruptcy.

But in assuming the chairmanship in 1998, this volunteer accepted the tremendous challenge of putting the Authority back on solid financial ground. This task was not easy! Working closely with legislators, the governor’s office, the Authority’s board members and others, this volunteer was successful in refinancing the debt service into one lower interest loan. This consolidated refinancing has saved almost $100,000 each year ever since, and the Authority is now on a strong financial footing.

Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, join with me in recognizing a distinguished West Virginian whose volunteer commitment is ongoing, and whose energy is so inspiring. It is a great honor to present to you tonight, the Volunteer of the Year for 2004, the chairman of a solid waste authority comprising Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral and Pendleton Counties , and the Municipalities of Capon Bridge, Franklin , Keyser, Moorefield, Romney and Petersburg , from Region 8, the honorable ALICE B. HARTMAN.