Rupert couple among those to receive ‘2024 Governor’s Service Award’ Thursday

By RealWV Staff,

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Rupert residents, and former owners of Rainelle’s “Carriage Cafe” restaurant, Sharon and Bob Selbe, will be among those honored on Thursday with the 2024 Governor’s Service Award. Long known for their giving spirit, since their retirement from the restaurant, Sharon and Bob have become essential volunteers at Wellspring of Greenbrier.

After recognizing the organization’s role in assisting low-income and unhoused individuals and families in Greenbrier County, Bob, a retired carpenter and contractor, and Sharon, an experienced restaurant owner and cook, quickly became integral members of the Wellspring team. Together, they have spent countless hours organizing food distribution and repairing the building. They cook two homemade meals every week for hundreds of people in their community. Some of the community’s favorite meals are the taco salad, chicken casserole, and of course, Sharon’s homemade rolls.

In addition to their volunteer work with Wellspring, Bob and Sharon regularly offer their services to neighbors in need, providing contracting services and homemade crafts free of charge. Their dedication to serving others knows no bounds, and their impact on the Greenbrier community is immeasurable.

Morgantown Youth Mentor Daniel Pan stands out as someone who will go above and beyond for the students at his community’s high school. Despite his busy schedule in medical school, he mentors students, helps with college applications, recruits volunteers, and secures funding for students to participate in national STEM competitions.

Daniel’s journey began with a vision to instill a love for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) among students. By recruiting volunteers and engaging parents, graduates, and faculty from Marshall University, Princeton University and the University of Pittsburgh, Daniel has created a supportive space where students can thrive academically, socially, and personally.

As West Virginia continues to navigate the challenges of tomorrow, volunteers like Daniel serve as beacons of hope, guiding youth towards a brighter and more promising future.

Since tragically losing her daughter to suicide in 2018, Bluefield’s Kathy Easley has transformed her grief into a powerful force for change, tirelessly working to bring hope and healing to communities across the state. As a volunteer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Kathy has volunteered countless hours raising awareness, providing resources, and creating a supportive network for those affected by suicide in West Virginia.

Kathy’s impact is profound and far-reaching. She set up suicide prevention information tables at over 40 locations throughout the last year, including fairs, festivals, sporting events, and schools. Kathy has reached thousands of individuals with lifesaving resources and information.

Additional Governor’s Service Award recipients will include Isabelle Smith-Pounds, a Hedgesville teen determined to leave her mark on the community. Since starting her own nonprofit, Take Care USA, Smith-Pounds has raised thousands of dollars to support youth in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia so that they can have access to basic hygiene supplies. Quenton “Q” Northcraft, who devotes multiple days every week to volunteering at Wheeling’s Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center, as well as Upshur County Christian Group, “Band of Brothers,” will also be recognized. 

About the Governor’s Service Award

Presented since 1995, the Governor’s Service Awards honors individuals and groups that exemplify outstanding dedication to volunteerism and community service in West Virginia.

The Governor’s Service Awards are administered by Volunteer West Virginia, the State’s Commission for National and Community Service. The event will take place on Thursday, June 13th at 6:00pm at the Culture Center in Charleston. A volunteer review committee reads and selects the recipients based on achievement, community needs, continuing involvement, creativity, and impact of service.

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