Back on Oct. 1 I asked readers for nominations for the 2014 Virginian of the Year, an annual award bestowed by the Virginia Press Association.
In 2010, it was retooled to honor not-so-well known do-gooders who make a difference in their communities. Today, allow me to introduce you to the eight people who were nominated by readers of The Roanoke Times.
One nominee, Bradley Free Clinic Executive Director Estelle Avner, received 17 nominations. Before we get to the many superlatives heaped upon her, let’s review the other worthy candidates and their accomplishments.
Burrell McGhee nominated Joy Sylvester-Johnson, who runs The Rescue Mission of Roanoke. It’s a faith-based nonprofit that houses the homeless and addicted and helps them change their lives for the better.
“If this young lady were Catholic I would find out how to nominate her for sainthood,” McGhee wrote. “She has done so much for so many with so little.
“I remember when ‘The Mission’ was little more than a chapel and small lodge. There were many nights of foul weather when the lodge was full, but upon my request or one of my buddies, she would somehow find room for one more. An amazing woman.”
READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN HERE.