ELKINS - The more than 200 people in attendance at the third annual Randolph Tucker Child Advocacy Center's Champions for Children awards banquet Friday night at Orchard Hall were greeted with fun, food and entertainment.
A spaghetti dinner was prepared by the men and women of St. Patrick's Parish in Coalton and served to event attendees by the Davis & Elkins College volleyball team.
Chelsea McBee and the Random Assortment, out of Shepherdstown, and the Highland Dancers provided the evening's entertainment with music and dance. The evening also included a live auction and 50/50 drawing to raise money.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Tim MacVean
Peggy Johnson, left, accepts the 2014 Professional Award from Randolph Tucker Child Advocacy Center Executive Director, Lydia Johnson, at the third annual Champions for Children awards banquet Friday night at Orchard Hall in Elkins.
Seven attendees were honored with awards for their service in the community to help with the betterment of children.
Peggy Johnson, Youth Health Service trauma center director and member of the Randolph County multi-disciplinary team, was the recipient of the 2014 Professional Award, which honors an area professional for their contributions to helping children.
"It is an honor to be recognized for this event. I really feel very thankful for the team we work with, the CAC, child protective services, law enforcement, the prosecutor s office, and I m also thankful for my co-workers at Youth Health Services who provide mental health treatment," Johnson said of winning the award. "I am grateful for everyone who came out to support the CAC and the team approach to child abuse prevention and intervention. Also, I am thankful to the children and families that allow us to be part of their lives."
Sharon Bedford, founding executive director of the CAC, who retired at the end of last year, was honored with the Outstanding Service Award for her contributions to the agency.
Bedford said winning the award was a surprise, and she was pleased with the things the CAC has been able to accomplish.
"It is an honor to receive this award," Bedford said. "What has been accomplished at the CAC has been a true community effort and I so appreciate the support of everyone who has had the courage to stand up for the children in the community."
Two Samaritan awards were given to members of the community for their charitable contributions and included Mi-Tec Computer Solutions Inc. and the men and women of St. Patrick's Parish.
Mi-Tec owner and CEO, Mike Gallogly, accepted the award and said he was very surprised to be chosen for the honor.
"I was surprised. I didn't t expect anything," Gallogly said. "We do the IT work for the CAC and have adopted them as our agency. They provide an excellent service to the community and the staff is great."
Accepting the award on behalf of the men and women of St. Patrick's parish was Jim Rossi, who said the work the group does takes a team effort, and their goal is to help others.
"I tell you, it was a real team effort. We have been reaching out for seven years and helping with other organizations and this (the CAC) is a very worthy cause. We really appreciate the CAC. We just believe in reaching out and helping fellow man and we also hope it was a meal that people enjoyed," Rossi said.
Three agencies - the Tucker County Juvenile Probation Office and Randolph and Tucker County schools - were awarded the Community Partners award for the work they have done alongside the CAC and other agencies to assist children in need.
Representing the Tucker County Juvenile Probation Office was probation officer Tom Felton.
Felton said, "We are very honored at the probation office in Tucker County to win this award. We have a great team over there for the betterment of the children. We are proud to be a small part of this."
Lynn Proudfoot, attendance director for the Randolph County school system and representative for the multi-disciplinary team for the county, said the Randolph County school system was pleased to be honored by the CAC because they are both working toward the same goal.
"We feel very pleased to be recognized for the partnership we have with all the agencies in the area that help the youth in Randolph County. That is a goal we have in common, Proudfoot said. We hope that each of the services we provide will result in happy productive adults."
Dr. Eddie Campbell, superintendent of the Tucker County school system, accepted the award for the Tucker County school
"We are thrilled just to be associated with the CAC. They work very closely with schools and are a great asset to us in Tucker County," Campbell said. "I think the most impressive thing to me is the relationship we have with them, they are very responsive and help problem solve with situations we have with our kids."
Executive Director for the CAC, Lydia Johnson, said the event was a success and that all the award winners are a true testament to the community and the desire to help children.
"I think that our award winners are really a testament to the commitment we have here of protecting children, in both the number of people who came out and the quality of the award winners," Johnson said. "There were a lot of nominees and the people we picked have been doing this for a long time and are still committed."