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Welcome Center honors Volunteer of the Year

The Elkins Depot Welcome Center, Inc. hosted its annual volunteer appreciation dinner and award ceremony on June 12. The Depot Welcome Center holds this event every year to honor their volunteer team who is integral to the success of the Welcome Center and to recognize the achievements of one individual.

Ben Duvall-Irwin, AmeriCorps member and volunteer coordinator for the Welcome Center, began by thanking the attendees: “Thank you to the Board members for providing the food tonight, and to Sue and Wayne Sheets for hosting the event. Thank you to all of our volunteers, including the board, for all that you do to help us. We could not do it without you.

“As someone who is not from the area, I have been fortunate to learn a lot about Elkins, Randolph County, and West Virginia thanks to the help of our volunteers. You all have unique perspectives and knowledge to share with our visitors,” said Duvall-Irwin.

Board member and former Director Ed Griesel presented the annual Edward Griesel Community Service Award. The award has been given each year since 2014 to an outstanding individual in recognition of exceptional volunteer service to citizens and businesses of the Elkins area and visitors.

Griesel stated, “There are many people who work behind the scenes to contribute to the success of the Welcome Center. Even though this person is not listed as one of our volunteers they are one of our biggest assets.”

The 2019 award was given to Serena Marson, who is the manager of the Rail & Trail Store located in the Depot. Marson has worked for the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad since 2007, and she has been involved with the Elkins Depot Welcome Center for most of its existence.

“Serena is a good person who I’ve known for a lot of years,” Griesel added. “Even though she is an employee of the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad rather than a volunteer for the Welcome Center, she always jumps in to help visitors and answer questions. It’s something that she doesn’t have to do but does all the time. She likes doing what she does and is always friendly.”

Marson said that she was surprised to be nominated, but is honored to be recognized.

In the first half of 2019, volunteers with the Welcome Center have already given more than 700 hours of service to the community and visitors.

Sue Sheets, president of the Board, also praised the volunteer team: “They are great to work with and always dependable. We can’t thank them enough for their time. They take time out of their personal lives to promote Elkins and Randolph County, and enjoy meeting new people in the process.”

The Elkins Depot Welcome Center is always accepting volunteer applications. For more information on their volunteer program or area attractions you may call 304-635-7803, e-mail elkinswelcomecenter@gmail.com, or visit the Depot at 315 Railroad Avenue. The Welcome Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.