Nineteen community volunteers and four organizations were recently honored by New River Valley Leading Lights, an organization that acknowledges and honors volunteers across the NRV who are having impacts that change the community for the better.
The nominees were recognized at Sinkland Farms during a small event.
The nominees recognized included Anna French, Auburn High School; Brianna Moser, Narrows High School; Grace Ankeney and Eli Miller, New River Community College; Alivia Colon, Jarrett Holmes, Isabelle Largen, and Erica Martin, Virginia Tech; Martha Ann Stallings, Darla Bray and Vern Simpson, Robyn Toney, Bill Ellenbogen, Fred and Beth Umberger, Montgomery County; Kathryn Daily, Radford; Bill and Corrine Graefe, Jeri Rogers, Portia Dawn Thompson, and Elizabeth Warriner, Floyd County; and Hope Harrell, Giles County.
Their volunteer efforts include work with animal shelters, food pantries, a fire department, after-school programs, libraries, financial support, COVID-19 vaccinations, event coordination, community groups, Dialogue on Race, clothing drives, stadium woods, Friends of the Huckleberry Trail, the Women’s Resource Center, and the March of Dimes.
The 2021 Leading Lights distinguished recipients are Grace Ankeney, Darla Bray, Kathryn Daily, Bill Ellenbogen (lifetime), Anna French, Hope Harrell, Jarrett Holmes and Erica Martin, Brianna Moser, Martha Ann Stallings, and Elizabeth Warriner. The distinguished recipients received $500 to direct to a non-profit of their choice except for the lifetime achievement recipient who receives $1,000 to direct.
This year’s event also had a special COVID-19 Heroes category to recognize the work of organizations during the pandemic. The four heroes are Campus Kitchen at Virginia Tech, Cookie Bandits, Plenty! Farm and Food Bank, and New River Valley Public Health Taskforce Volunteers. These groups helped provide food to those in need, brought joy to others during a difficult time, and coordinated testing and vaccination efforts.
NRV Leading Lights will be seeking volunteer nominations later this fall for the 2022 awards.