By Beth Christian Broschart
DAVIS – Justice Allen H. Loughry II of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals was honored with the 2014 Tuckineer Award during the annual Tucker County Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet Thursday.
“I sincerely appreciate this award,” Loughry, a Tucker native, said. “This will hang very prominently at the Supreme Court of West Virginia.”
Loughry also served as the keynote speaker for the evening, talking about his successful campaign for a 12-year term.
“I ran my campaign based on the principles I learned in Tucker County,” Loughry said. “Honesty, integrity, work ethic. Growing up working for my dad at the Parsons News and Novelty and working for Mariwyn Smith at the Parsons Advocate was a wonderful learning experience. It was so helpful in my life.”
“They helped me develop certain values,” Loughry said. “Those are the values that I take with me on a daily basis.”
More than 100 people gathered at Canaan Valley Resort State Park for the banquet.
The Tuckineer Award was sponsored by Citizens Bank of West Virginia, Tucker County Branch, and the Tucker County Chamber of Commerce. Debbie Ritter presented the Tuckineer award, which is derived from “Tucker” and “Mountaineer.”
Cathy Hebb received the 2014 Educator of the Year award, sponsored by Mountain Hospice and presented by Bethany Cangley. Hebb said it was gratifying to be nominated.
“It is great to be appreciated,” Hebb said. “There are so many who deserve this award who do not receive it. It is nice to be one of the few people that are honored.”
Ben Flanagan and Ian Nichols were recognized as the 2014 Students of the Year. Western Pocahontas Properties and Performance Motors sponsored the awards. Flanagan’s award was presented by Doug Toothman, and Nichol’s award was presented by Patrick Darlington.
“I am honored that people in the county believe I deserve this honor,” Flanagan said. “Following graduation, I am going to Salt Lake City for a two-year mission before attending Marshall University.”
“I am excited for this honor,” Nichols said. “This is something I will remember for a long time.” Nichols said he will be attending West Virginia University and pursuing a degree in petroleum engineering.
Wanda Freeman won the 2014 Employee of the Year. She has been employed at the Tucker County Department of Highways office for nearly 27 years. The award was sponsored by Blackwater Falls State Park and presented by Bill Smith.
“I am very honored,” Freeman said. “I enjoy my job and working with my fellow employees.”
The 2014 Business Person of the Year was presented to Patrick Darlington, who owns and operates Performance Chevrolet. Davis High Valley Realty sponsored the award, which was presented by Murray Dearborn.
“This is a great honor,” Darlington said. “Anytime you are recognized within your community with an award like this it is wonderful. But I cannot take all the credit. It is the team I have around me. You are only as good as your team is. Without that, nothing is possible.”
The 2014 Community Service Award was presented to Kevin White. The award was sponsored by Monongalia General Heath Systems and presented by Roxanne Tuesing.
White is the chief of the Parsons Volunteer Fire Department.
He also is president of the Tucker County Athletic Boosters and was part of the group who worked to obtain funding and labor for our bleachers at R.H. Armstrong Field.
White said he was humbled and honored by the award.
“I probably do not deserve this because I am just trying to do my part,” White said. “I have always tried to help out in my community. I don’t want to take it lightly, and want to thank those who selected me, but I don’t do what I do for awards. I have to give the credit for those who work with me. I could not make these accomplishments without those who helped.”
The Guest Services, Inc. staff of Canaan Valley Resort State Park was recognized with the 2014 Travel & Tourism Award. The award is sponsored by Best of Canaan and was presented by Donna Patrick.