April 2017 Celebrating Volunteers Winner

Melodee Price of

Elkins Make it Shine

     Litter, let’s face it, it’s a burden on everyone in our community.  From run down properties with absentee owners to trash along our major thoroughfares, some areas of West Virginia have been turned into trash heaps with no end in site.  Cleaning the messes up not only enhances the beauty of our state, but creates an environment where pride runs throughout our small cities, towns and rural areas.  Groups have popped up all over our state under the umbrella of the Gretchen Ross, Doug Miley and Melodee PriceWest Virginia Make it Shine program administered by the state Department of Environmental Protection.  The primary goal of WV Make it Shine is to make our state one of the cleanest in the nation. 

     To do that, efforts of local volunteers, businesses, community organizations and local governments are coordinated to ensure that they have the resources available to maximize their efforts.  Elkins Make it Shine program was established and has thrived under the guidance of Melodee Price.  Melodee has worked tirelessly over the last few years to push efforts to not only get the riverbeds, ditches, roadways and illegal dumping grounds cleaned up, but she has also taken on dilapidated properties in the area head on.  Her effort has helped not only beautify the greater Elkins area, but has also lead to an overwhelming growth in community involvement from local citizens, city officials and state groups.  Her hard work has assisted in the clean up of hundreds of miles of trash, acres of properties and the cleanup of natural habitats for many to enjoy now and in the future.  These and many other reasons are why Melodee Price of Elkins Make it Shine has been selected as our next volunteer to celebrate! 

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     As Elkins Make it Shine continues to grow, Melodee has involved various groups and organizations within the community to participate, including the City of Elkins, the Mayor’s Office, WV Children’s Home, Elkins Energy Youth Basketball, local Cub Scouts and a number of local churches.  With spring approaching, clean ups are being scheduled and continually run throughout the summer and into the fall.  Those interested in assisting this year should reach out and get in touch with Melodee through the Elkins Make it Shine Facebook page.

     “I love seeing a difference in the town and I love thinking that I am helping to build some pride with the younger generation,” stated Price.  “I want to see Elkins succeed.  I grew up and was raised here and am no raising my children here and want to make it the best small town in West Virginia!”

Elkins Make it shine dumpster     In addition to the clean ups, another recent project that is noticeable across Elkins, is the painted dumpsters.  Each dumpster was painted to reflect the area or location that you find them in.  As an example, the one located near the train depot is decorated with a train theme.  This project not only brings attention to the clean up goals of the organization, but also provides some interest to those dumpsters that may be in plain sight.  

     “Melodee Price and Elkins Make it Shine serve a very important purpose in our communities,” Gretchen Ross of WBOY stated.  “Not only do they clean up our neighborhoods, they also instill a sense of pride.  Many cities and towns are facing this issue throughout our state, Melodee and her group of volunteers are dealing with it head on in hopes to provide a better space for future generations.”

     “Our communities are our lifeline to health and happiness and getting them cleaned up literally and figuratively is an important need we have all across West Virginia,”  said Tim Miley, owner of The Miley Legal Group.  “Melodee and the Make it Shine program not only serve that purpose, but they also bring hope and a sense of pride to every neighborhood that they come in contact with.  Her work not only creates an environment that is good for the community, but it also serves as a catalyst for development, including economically.  As Elkins and its surrounding areas get cleaner, it and its citizens can only further benefit from the opportunities it creates.”

wv make it shine     Melodee also volunteers for the Emma Scott Garden Club and attends the Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church.  She is associated with numerous clubs, associations and committees over the past 30 years but has decided to downsize to refocus her time and energy on Elkins Make it Shine. 

     “I love making a difference.  I feel like this project can help to raise people’s spirits when they are surrounded by the beauty that this town has to offer.  We just need to give it a little shine on a regular basis.”

For those interested in the Elkins Make it Shine program, contact Melodee Price on their Facebook page.   If you would like to participate in the statewide clean up event in your community, please contact West Virginia Make it Shine at www.dep.wv.gov.

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     The Celebrating Volunteers awardees receive public recognition for not only themselves, but their organization.  They also receive a $500 contribution to the organization they represent in their name.  Gretchen Ross of WBOY TV and Tim Miley of The Miley Legal Group work together to select the awardees from the many nominations received from the public.   The volunteer selected will have demonstrated their commitment to an organization through volunteerism and support.

     “I am an avid supporter of volunteerism in our communities.”  Miley stated.  “The Celebrating Volunteers program is a way that we can recognize the hard work and dedication of individuals across our region.”