On Thursday, September 14, Governor Jim Justice honored Mitch DeBoard of Clay County for his dedication to service at the annual Governor’s Service Awards dinner at the Culture Center at the State Capitol.
Presented since 1995, the Governor’s Service Award has honored individuals, families and organizations that exemplify outstanding dedication to volunteerism and community service in West Virginia. DeBoard received his award in the Adult category.
Mitch DeBoard has worked hard to promote tourism, first through trout stockings on Buffalo Creek and then by developing the Buffalo Creek Recreational Trail, which can be used for hiking, biking and horseback riding. While the flood of 2016 damaged much of the work done on the trail, Mitch has simply started again by working with FEMA to gain funding to repair the trail. As president of the Clay County Business Development Authority, Mitch worked with a prison crew to clean up Spread Park for the community to enjoy. Currently, Mitch is working to secure funding to purchase the railroad from Falling Rock in Kanawha County, up through into Gilmer County. Once developed, this would be the second largest Rail to Trail in the eastern United States and would bring tourism into many struggling communities.
The Governor’s Service Awards are administered by Volunteer West Virginia, the state’s Commission for National and Community Service. A volunteer review committee reads and selects the recipients based on achievement, community needs, continuing involvement, innovation and impact of service.