Association of West Virginia Solid Waste Authorities

2006 Volunteer of the Year

 

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VOLUNTEER OF YEAR AWARD FOR 2006      

 

Good evening ladies and gentlemen! Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity tonight to present the Volunteer of the Year for 2006 to the honorable members and guests of the Association of West Virginia Solid Waste Authorities and to the representatives and guests of the DEPs Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan.

But before that happens, I would like to take a moment to express my appreciation for being fortunate enough to have met and been associated with such an incredible group of people, such as yourselves, VOLUNTEERS who serve on county and regional solid waste authorities throughout our beautiful state. Your work and dedication goes well beyond improving solid waste management in your community. Your personal contribution in this effort makes an important impact on other people’s lives, helps protect our environment and natural resources, and truly improves the world around us.

I know that each member of the selection committee for Volunteer of the Year echoes these sentiments, and I would like to introduce them at this time:

Ms. Tammy Bonar, Ms. Alice Jo Buzzard, Ms. Bridget Grounds and Dr. Ralph Taylor. (APPLAUSE) They do a fine job in reviewing the accomplishments of the nominees. As you may not know, as chairman of this committee, I can only vote in the event of a tie and I am pleased to say that I have never had to cast a vote.

This year’s recipient will join the ranks of other distinguished volunteers who have received this prestigious award, including Al Babcock, the late Fred Clark and Roger King, Denver Enoch, Bud Weigle, Harry Reiter, Walt Swiger, John Tuckwiller, Sarah Douglas, Alice Hartman and last year, Kurt Keesee.

The volunteer that we are recognizing tonight has been a member of a county solid waste authority for well over a decade, who has served as its treasurer for over 7 years.

This volunteer has provided the vision and leadership for many worthwhile projects, such as the implementation of an Athletic Shoe Recycling Project, wherein worn out shoes are processed at the local recycling center for distribution through Nike and the National Recycling Coalition for rejuvenating running surfaces and playground areas.

Another project that this volunteer was instrumental in was the development of a Community Enhancement Program, that continues today. The solid waste authority started this program in 1999 in order to receive the greatest benefit of utilizing some of its revenue to create its own grant program. Through this local grant program they have been able to award an average of 6 grants each year to enhance the quality of life in their community. For example, practically every school in the county has received a grant for such things as outdoor classroom and playground equipment made from recycled content materials.

With the assistance of this volunteer, the Authority has awarded grants to volunteer fire departments in their county to enhance hazardous waste response capabilities, improved walking trail surfaces in public parks with recycled materials, they have awarded a $100,000 grant to a municipal recycling facility in the county and equally important, they have provided considerable funds to adjacent county solid waste authorities in times of special need.

If this were not enough, this year’s volunteer has assisted in helping identify and catalog illegal open dumps throughout the county. He continues to support the solid waste authority’s involvement in aluminum recycling contests, river sweeps, scholarships for area youth to attend various conservation and environmental camps across the state and many beautification projects.

Additionally, this year’s award recipient is heavily involved in many other volunteer activities in his community. He is a charter member of the City of Parkersburg Tree Commission. He is a member of the Earth Team of the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He has been recognized as a distinguished and outstanding state representative for the Road Runners Club of America and he serves as a certified track official for the WV Association of Secondary Schools Activity Commission.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honor to present to you tonight, your Volunteer of the Year for 2006,
a member of the Wood County Solid Waste Authority from Parkersburg, West Virginia,

THE HONORABLE WILLIS J. RIDENHOUR