News Room - Volunteer Spotlight

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Ruth Crowe: Featured Computer Center Mentor in Wayne County

Ruth Crowe first learned about being a mentor at the computer center’s open house at the volunteer fire department in East Lynn of Wayne County, WV.

She is now the mentor of this free, high-speed Internet computer center and enjoys helping her community learn new computer skills.

Ruth has been volunteering for years, whether it’s for friends, family, the community, helping out at the local schools, the Navy Reserve, or the fire department.

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Tim and Melanie Whetzel

Located in the old schoolhouse, the Upper Tract Volunteer Department computer center’s two mentors, Tim and Melanie Whetzel, make learning new computer skills a cinch.

Tim, a lifelong resident of Upper Tract, and Melanie, originally from Petersburg, began volunteering at the fire department a little over 20 years ago, when Tim joined the fire department. Melanie joined the fire department auxiliary and briefly the Upper Tract Rescue Squad.

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Shirley Warner

Shirley Warner has met many new faces as the mentor of the Moorefield Computer Center. She has educated them on computer use, as well as the benefits of having high-speed Internet.

Shirley was born in in Lorain, OH and later moved to Akron, OH where she lived for eight years. She now resides near Petersburg, where she has lived for the 28 years.

Shirley joined her local fire company two years ago to help and become an EMT. “My husband and son volunteered, and I saw how they enjoyed helping people. I wanted to help others as well,” Shirley stated.

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Victoria Surber

Victoria Surber is one of three exceptional ladies mentoring the Gilbert Volunteer Fire Department Computer Center in Mingo County.

As a life-long resident of Gilbert, WV, she expressed that the area was a great place to grow up and raise her children.

Victoria began volunteering when she heard about Future Generation's plan to bring a computer center to the area. "When I thought about how this could help disadvantaged people in our area, I wanted to be a part of the plan," she stated.

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Chris McCall

Chris McCall began serving the Lewis County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in 1996 in Weston, where he has been a lifelong resident.

Chris got into EMS work because of his desire to help people who are sick. His brother, who was a firefighter, influenced his decision, as well as television shows like Rescue 911 and CHiPs.

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Sharon Bonnett

Sharon Bonnett, the computer center mentor at the Banks District Volunteer Fire Department, resides in the tight-knit community of Rock Cave in Upshur County.

Sharon grew up on a farm near Mill Creek in Randolph County, and was one of 12 children. She learned "true work ethic" on the farm because they worked together as a family.

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Brenda Wilson

Brenda Wilson is a generous volunteer who has taken her years of giving from near the nation’s capital to the community of Summers County.

Originally from Falls Church, VA, Brenda volunteered in the Inova Fairfax Hospital Auxiliary, even after working a full day in her regular position at the hospital.

"When I left work, I felt like there was more work that needed to be done," Brenda stated. "So, I went back as a volunteer and helped."

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Kim Davis

Kim Davis loves to teach, and it is this love for teaching and her community that makes her a wonderful computer lab mentor.

Originally from California, Kim moved to her husband’s native home in Braxton County, West Virginia in 1993. Her family is heavily involved in the fire department. Her husband is the captain and her son, Theron, is a junior firefighter.

Being aware of her background in education at Sutton Elementary School, Kim was approached by the fire department to mentor the computer center.

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Adam Balasis

Though Adam Balasis is a Florida native, his West Virginia roots run deep in McDowell County. Balasis’ paternal grandfather emigrated from Greece to make a fresh start in the town of Kimball, which was founded 100 years ago as a railroad maintenance center to serve the booming coal industry.

Adam remembers making many visits as a child to Kimball, WV to visit family and the family restaurant, Ya’Sou, a Greek-American restaurant meaning “To your health,” which has been a staple in Kimball since 1945.

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Christopher Neace

Assistant Fire Chief of the Buffalo Creek Fire Department in Logan County, Christopher Neace, is a West Virginia native who left the state and returned. “West Virginia is home, it is where my family is,” says Neace. He moved to Indiana with his mother at age eight, and it was there that he became interested in being a firefighter. At the age of 15, Neace began his 15-year service as a firefighter while in Indiana in the cadet program.

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