Over the course of the last 3 years, we've all made new friends. We've shared high points and low points, encouraged each other and cheered each other. We've supported each other during stressful moments, and we've spent so much time together, whether in person or on-line, that we've gotten to know each others' strengths, weaknesses, idiosyncrasies and talents. It was in that vein that the party committee created the PATH Superlative Awards. Some were funny, some were touching, and some were a combination of both, but we think we captured the spirit of the recipients -- and we all shared a laugh on Saturday night.
All awards were a complete surprise to the recipient, which meant some double-secret meetings among the planning committee to decide on each others' awards.
Here are the awards, in the order they were handed out:
Keryn Newman - The "Human Pit Bull" Award
For grateful appreciation of her persistence, tenacity, humor, creative strategic thinking, and myriad other contributions to making PATH's life HELL! "We're sure glad she's on our side!"
Patience Wait - The Most Outspoken Award
For grateful appreciation of her talent and ability to boldly speak up when it's most needed! "Delivering our messages when we don't have the nerve!"
Steven Smith - The Man of Steel Award
For grateful appreciation of his talent for turning trash into treasure and his die-hard dedication to our cause! "StopPATH WV's hardest worker!"
Cathy Jackson - The Heart of West Virginia Award
For grateful appreciation for keeping the focus on individual West Virginians and not allowing us to become "collateral damage." "Cathy is the spirit of West Virginia!"
Robin Huyett Thomas - The Miss Manners Award
For grateful appreciation of her professionalism and tact in carrying out our official business.*
*PATH land agents excepted. They got what they deserved.
J.P. Burns - The Strong and Silent Award
For grateful appreciation of his wisdom and guidance when it really mattered! "When group conflict strikes, ask for and follow J.P.'s advice!"
Bob Montgomery - The Super Geek Award
For grateful appreciation of his PowerPoint skills that made our educational presentations the best they could be. "Three pictures and a word!"
Sharon Wilson - The Hard Bargain Lady Award
For grateful appreciation of her talent for tenacious negotiation. "You're not going to win when you try to pull one over on Sharon!"
Debbie Royalty - The Queen Bee Award
For grateful appreciation of her ability to personally call out the corporate lackeys when they were feeding us a line of B.S. "Debbie has never met a stranger!"
Roger Eitelman - The Worry Wart Award
For grateful appreciation of his dedication and leadership to ensure that we met our financial goals and left no stone unturned. "We don't need to worry, Roger will do it for us!"
Clissy Funkhouser - The PATH Idol Award
For grateful appreciation of her incredible singing and songwriting talents which conveyed our message in a way that even PATH appreciated! "They want to cut right through an electric avenue!"
Lynn Welsh - The Paul Revere Award
For grateful appreciation for spreading the word to her enormous circle of friends and acquaintances. "The greedy corporations are coming! The greedy corporations are coming!"
Bill Howley - The Canary in the Coalmine Award
For grateful appreciation of his talent for keeping us knowledgeable and patiently explaining the complex until we get it. "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win! -- The Power Line"
Samuel Smith - The Most Likely to Change the World Award
For grateful appreciation of his superior marketing and social skills and his help with so many activities! "Sam knows more about PATH than many adults!"
Pam Gearhart - The Whistle Blower Award
For grateful appreciation of her quick action to send scammers heading for the border and for her continued faith that right will prevail. "Ardent360, you have met your match!"
Richard Crim - The Foot Soldier Award
For grateful appreciation of his participation and support during the PATH fight. He came to every meeting, helped at every fundraiser, wrote letters, and participated fully in whatever angle we were currently pursuing. "Richard Crim is the epitome of citizen action and contributed greatly to our success!"
Dick Ishler & Ginny MacColl - The "Let 'em eat C.A.K.E.S." Award
For grateful appreciation of their professionalism and skill in building an outstanding grassroots organization!
"Citizens Against Kemptown Electric Substation"
Ed Hannon - The Pack Mule Award
For grateful appreciation of his willingness to always lend a hand, or a truck, or a trailer! "Getting us and our junk to market!"
Al, Irene and Theresa Ghiorzi - The Family Affair Award
For grateful appreciation of their knowledge, talent and persistence in presenting the Virginia SCC with the truth! "The truth shall set us free!"
J.B. Christensen - The Mr. Sunshine Award
For grateful appreciation for being our eyes, ears and voice in Charleston and his commitment to a better energy policy for West Virginia. "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams!"
Doug Kaplan and Sugarloaf Conservancy - The Persistence Award
For grateful appreciation of their indefatigable pursuit of identified goals! "Keeping politicians and government true to their word!"
Presented to all our significant others: The Long Suffering Spouse Award
For grateful appreciation for supporting us throughout this fight, even when it meant no dinner companion (or simply no dinner), opening your homes for our meetings, and many lonely nights & weekends. "Who is that stranger?"
And to everyone who contributed to the cause -- Thank you, thank you, thank you!