NRV Leading Lights Recognizes Eleven

NRV Leading Lights recognized eleven Distinguished Recipients at the 2019 New River Valley Leading Lights annual event recently. Sixty unduplicated nominations were received for all categories, and all sixty volunteers were honored.

High School Distinguished Recipients were Mackenzie Farmer from Pulaski County, and Hannah Shuff from Giles County; College Distinguished Recipients were Clendal Brown of Giles County and Tanah Patel of Montgomery County; Community Distinguished Recipients from each community were as follows – Floyd County, Travis Cantrell; Giles County, Rodney Freeman; Montgomery County, John Hess and Kelly McPherson; Pulaski County Daniel Grubb; Radford City, Janiele Hamden. The prestigious Lifetime Achievement Distinguished Recipient went to Carol Smith of Pulaski County.

This was the organization’s eleventh year of recognizing outstanding volunteers across the New River Valley. It formed following the 2007 tragedy at Virginia Tech to recognize the volunteer spirit the victims universally shared, and the outpouring of volunteer effort that followed to assist the victims, their families, first responders, and the community. The website is open to accept nominations for the twelfth annual awards for 2020 in August 2019. The nomination form is only online at Early nominations are strongly encouraged.

Leading Lights from 2019 were engaged in diverse volunteer activities across the New River Valley. Collectively they spent thousands of hours over their lifetimes volunteering with clothing banks, rescue and disaster relief teams, as youth mentors, managing holiday programs, overseeing weekend ‘food backpack’ programs, helping at local food kitchens, serving with civic groups, community building, and actually more than a hundred other noble local charitable activities and programs. Leading Lights is focused on the impact of a volunteer’s leadership and example to others.

Awards are given in three categories: Community (seven awards), high school (two awards), and college (two awards). In the community award category, there is an award reserved for a volunteer in each county/city of the New River Valley (Floyd County, Giles County, Pulaski County, Radford City), and two in Montgomery County (due to population size), and one across the whole NRV to recognize Lifetime Volunteer Achievement. Nominees must be current residents of the New River Valley or if being nominated for a student category award, they must be currently enrolled in a school/college in the New River Valley. Award winners in each category will be selected on the following criteria:
 Strong community involvement
 Demonstrated lifestyle of dedicated, continuous, long-term involvement to the community
 Proven leadership
 Creativity in initiating and implementing projects that lead to a better quality of life

Call (540) 381-2066 or email if more information is needed. Area non-profit organizations collaborate with the Virginia Tech German Club Alumni Foundation (GCAF) for the Annual “Leading Lights: Shining a light on neighbors helping neighbors” recognition awards for volunteers in our community.