Christiansburg, VA/ NRV Leading Lights recognized eleven Distinguished Recipients for the 2019 New River Valley Leading Lights. Sixty unduplicated nominations were received for all categories. Montgomery County Distinguished Recipients for 2019 were John Hess and Kelly McPherson.  Tanah Patel of Virginia Tech was selected as one of two College Distinguished Recipients for the NRV.


This was the organization’s eleventh year of recognizing outstanding volunteers across the New River Valley. It formed following the 2007 tragedy at Virginia Tech to recognize the volunteer spirit the victims universally shared, and the outpouring of volunteer effort that followed to assist the victims, their families, first responders, and the community. The website is open to accept nominations for the twelfth annual awards for 2020 in August 2019. The nomination form is only online at www.leadinglightsnrv.org. Early nominations are strongly encouraged.

Leading Lights from 2019 were engaged in diverse volunteer activities across the New River Valley. Collectively they spent thousands of hours over their lifetimes volunteering with clothing banks, rescue and disaster relief teams, as youth mentors, managing holiday programs, overseeing weekend ‘food…



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