Local woman, service dog to receive award

Mams and Lulu

ELKINS — A unique team, Robin Mams and her dog Lulu serve the Elkins area in a variety of ways. This year, they will become the first-ever certified therapy dog trainer and therapy canine to receive a West Virginia Governor’s Service Award.

Today, Robin Mams and Lulu will be honored for their dedication to service at the annual Governor’s Service Awards dinner at the Culture Center at the State Capitol.

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Governor’s Service Awards. The event honors individuals, families and organizations that exemplify outstanding dedication to volunteerism and community service in West Virginia. Robin Mams & Lulu will receive their award in the Family Category.

Together Robin Mams and Lulu provide cheer to the mentally ill, disabled, seniors, Veterans, children, and hospice patients. The pair visits local organizations at least two times a week. They can be found at Davis Medical Center, Colonial Place, Sharpe Hospital, schools, and libraries.

Some patients and students enjoy reading to Lulu, while others like to feed her treats and play fetch. The unique team offers something that the most talented clinician cannot offer. Clinicians, staff, visitors, guests, clients, and community members enjoy working with the outstanding volunteer duo.

Robin Mams began volunteering with Therapy Dogs International (TDI) after she retired from nursing. TDI helped Robin return to the hospital setting and continue to help patients and community members. Currently, Mams is the only TDI evaluator in West Virginia, and helps to certify other therapy dogs in the state.

In her spare time, Robin Mams also volunteers as a golf instructor for youth, helps facilitate substance abuse recovery support groups, assists with literacy activities, and donates her time to variety of community-based events. Together Robin Mams and Lulu empower and support some of the most vulnerable in West Virginia.

The Governor’s Service Awards are administered by Volunteer West Virginia, the state’s Commission for National and Community Service. The event will take place on Thursday, September 5th at 6:30 at the Culture Center in Charleston. A volunteer review committee reads and selects the recipients based on achievement, community needs, continuing involvement, innovation and impact of service.

Other recipients of the 2019 Governor’s Service Awards include, by category:

Youth: Stephanie Santilli, Philippi

Adult: D. Michael Anderson “Chef Mike”, South Charleston

Senior: Jon Six, Parkersburg

Lifetime Achievement: Laura Greathouse, New Cumberland

Family: Robin Mams & Lulu, Elkins

Disaster Service: Nancy Harris

Group: Dementia Friendly, St. Albans

Business: Zambito Family Dentistry, Wheeling