BUCKHANNON – In the words — well, lyrics — of Tina Turner, Bill Nicholson is “simply the BEST.”
At Thursday’s Buckhannon City Council meeting, mayor David McCauley deemed Nicholson, a longtime community volunteer and Upshur County Youth Soccer referee, the fifth recipient of the Buckhannon Exemplary Service Testimonial – or BEST – award.
The honor was established in 2018 in conjunction with the founding of the Buckhannon Volunteer Center, an online database that matches groups in need of volunteers with volunteers looking for opportunities to serve.
McCauley read a proclamation recognizing Nicholson as a “substantial contributor to a host of service organizations,” including the Upshur Parish House, Appalachian Impact, Kesling Mill Lions Club and recently revived Buckhannon Kiwanis Club.
The document goes on to note he has “long served as a referee” for Upshur County Youth Soccer, long been a member of the Christian men’s group, Band of Brothers, and an active member Chapel Hill United Methodist Church.
Following the presentation of the award, Nicholson had a few words of wisdom to impart.
“Number one, I serve the Lord … to give back to him, so therefore I do that through these organizations, people in need, feed the people and take care of them,” he said, choking up.
Nicholson said he often hears many people say they don’t have time to volunteer; however, he thinks time can be found – but people must make volunteering a priority.
“I hear, ‘I don’t have time to volunteer.’ I hear that a lot,” Nicholson said. “You hear that a lot if you lead a group. I’ve never lost a moment volunteering. I still travel. I still hunt. I still fish, but I still do what I can to give back.”
Nicholson joins prior recipients Amanda Hayes, Zachary Mutchler, Robin Keough and Shirley Tinney in receiving the honor.
A BEST bench bearing placards inscribed with the names of the five honorees (as well as future ones) will be installed in Jawbone Park.
“May every resident be mindful of community service and giving of one’s self and be inspired to give selflessly for the benefit of others as we pay tribute to the many substantial contributions of our exceptional volunteers, including our fifth BEST honor, Bill Nicholson,” the Feb. 21 proclamation concludes.