Buckhannon’s Band of Brothers to receive 2024 Governor’s Service Award

BUCKHANNON, W.VA. – Band of Brothers, a dedicated group of Christian men from Upshur County, has been selected as a recipient of the prestigious 2024 Governor’s Service Awards.

On Thursday, June 13, Band of Brothers will be honored for their 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 Awards honor individuals and groups that exemplify outstanding dedication to volunteerism and community service in West Virginia. Band Of Brothers will receive their award in the Group Category.

Band of Brothers is a small group of men from Upshur County who began meeting in 2012 for Bible study on Friday mornings. Over the years, they expanded their activities to installing ramps and home modifications for the disabled, roof and gutter repairs, and other small jobs.

This small gathering began to have a big impact through the sales and donations from their annual West Virginia Scenic Calendar initiative. In 2015, inspired by their desire to make a difference during the holiday season, the group printed 500 calendars featuring images of the West Virginia landscape, captured by one of their own, amateur photographer Al Tucker.

The response was overwhelming. To the group’s surprise, the calendars quickly sold out, raising over $10,000 in sales and donations to support local families with Christmas shopping. This initial success marked the beginning of a tradition that has continued to grow and thrive over the years.

Upshur County Commissioners Kristie Tenney, Sam Nolte and Doug Bush nominated the group for the 2024 Service Award. Tenney said she is thrilled they will be recognized next week.

“They have done so many great projects, not only here locally, but throughout the state,” Tenney told My Buckhannon Thursday. “We’re just excited that they were able to be recognized for this award and all the great work that they do.”

Commissioner Sam Nolte agreed, saying the accolade was “long overdue.”

Tenney nominated Band of Brothers because of its members’ dedication to serving people in need.

“It is a phenomenal group of 12 gentlemen who are able to raise large dollars to help those who are in need and really, sometimes, for those who miss out on opportunities,” she said. “They’re really just doing God’s work and they are a blessing, I think, to this whole entire state and it will grow, hopefully through this nomination.”

Each year checks and donations come pouring in from near and far for the scenic calendars, with one calendar being purchased as far away as Australia. In 2023, the group raised $52,000, far surpassing their target of $45,000. Each year they choose different causes to support, from families in need at Christmas to children affected by floods or poverty.

One of the group’s most notable initiatives is the “Help Us Help Kids” Project, which focuses on supporting disadvantaged children through various programs and activities. From fundraising efforts to providing Christmas gifts and essential supplies, Band of Brothers has consistently gone above and beyond to ensure that children and individuals in need receive the support and care they deserve.

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.

Other recipients of the 2024 Governor’s Service Awards include, by category:

  • Youth: Isabelle Scarlet Smith-Pounds, Hedgesville
  • Adult: Daniel Pan, Morgantown
  • Senior: Kathy Easley, Bluefield
  • Senior: Quenton “Q” Northcraft, Wheeling
  • Group: Robert and Sharon Selbe, Rupert

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