ELKINS – Elkins Mayor Jerry Marco recognized three individuals as Extra Mile Heroes this week.
“They have truly embodied the essence of going the extra mile through their remarkable volunteerism and service,” Marco said. “Their unwavering commitment to bettering our community serves as an inspiration to us all, reminding us of the power of individual action and the impact of collective effort.”
The three recipients of the 2023 Extra Mile Hero Award in Elkins are:
Michael Parlock, a law and public safety instructor at Randolph Technical Center. “Not only does he teach his students and gives them the skills they need to successfully obtain jobs in law enforcement all over the state, but he mentors his students on a personal basis,” a City of Elkins press release states.
Dave Vandenbergh has volunteered at Davis Medical Center since 2016 and has donated more than 1,200 hours of service helping community members navigate the hospital. “He has shown compassion to people during their most stressful times to make them feel more at ease, or he tells a joke to make someone laugh when they are anxious,” the city release states. “Not only does he volunteer at DMC, but he also volunteers each week serving meals to the homeless at the First United Methodist Church. Before volunteering at FUMC, he donated many hours delivering Meals on Wheels to our senior community members in their homes.”
Pat Lewis “is described as one of the most passionate people around,” the city press release states. “If she hears about a family in need, she is the first one to post on Facebook looking for help and donations. She works hard with area parents and collects donations for children at Christmas time to make sure less-provided children are taken care of.”
Nov. 1 is Extra Mile Day. All over the country, mayors from more than 500 cities are commemorating individuals who have served their communities by consistently going the extra mile. This initiative, championed by Extra Mile America, seeks to highlight the significant, positive influence a person can have in their families, workplaces and broader communities when they take that extra step.
Elkins’ previous Extra Mile Heroes include:
Chad Ware, who worked tirelessly to keep our town safe during the pandemic;
Rev. Jeremiah Jasper and Mike Brooks, who worked hard during the pandemic and before to ensure that the weekly Common Ground Meals at the Woodford Memorial UMC never stopped;
Our Town and its group of volunteers, who are constantly working to improve the Elkins area by celebrating the arts, promoting community-building activities, and organizing public festivals and entertainment events;
Citizens Promoting Community, a group of like-minded citizens whose goal is to create community through events and fundraising; and
Missy McCollam, the director of The Old Brick Playhouse in Elkins, who serves with love and compassion for people of all ages, making sure they know that “everyone is different, and everyone is important.”
Extra Mile America, the organization coordinating this program, said the purpose of Extra Mile Day is to celebrate the capacity everyone has to create positive change in their families, organizations and communities by “going the extra mile.”
Extra Mile America coordinates and promotes Extra Mile Day and the Extra Mile Hero Awards. The organization challenges people and organizations to do more than just wish for change, to go the extra mile in heart, mind and action.