Area non-profit organizations have teamed up with the Virginia Tech German Club Alumni Foundation (GCAF) for the Second Annual "Leading Lights: Neighbors Honoring Neighbors" recognition awards for volunteers in our community. Leading Lights seeks to recognize volunteers in the NRV from all sectors who are making community-changing impacts and serving as models to inspire others. The group will honor award-winners by donating $1,000 to the non-profit of their choice.
The GCAF led the effort in 08-09 and formed Leading Lights with representatives from local non-profits such as the Community Foundation of the NRV, Montgomery County Public Schools, United Way of Montgomery, Radford & Floyd, VT-Engage, YMCA at Virginia Tech, and Virginia Tech, Radford University, and New River Community College, and the faith community.
Culminating in a major gala held on April 2, 2009 at the German Club Manor, the inaugural 2009 Leading Lights event honored the five awardees, nominated finalists, and leading area non-profit and government-service organizations. Wayne Campbell with the GCAF, states the award seeks "To recognize our neighbors who have volunteered and inspired others to volunteer, and to help continue the culture of volunteerism among our neighbors. The Leading Lights award recognizes NRV volunteer leaders who greatly impact the lives of others."
2009 Leading Lights award winners are, Community: Karen Cronin, Elliston; Fran Rooker, Radford; Rador "Red" Vaden, Blacksburg; Collegiate: Stephanie Connelly, Blacksburg ; and Youth: Ben Webster, Snowville.
The five awards are given in three categories: community (three), youth (one), and collegiate (one). Nominees must be current residents of or currently enrolled in schools in the New River Valley. The award selection committee includes representation from across the New River Valley. Award winners will be selected based on the following criteria: 10 Strong community involvement 2) Demonstrated lifestyle of dedicated, continuous, long-term involvement to the community 3) Proven leadership 4) Creativity in initiating and implementing projects that lead to a better quality of life