Pictured, from left, are award winners Misty Post, administrator of the 'Buckhannon Events' and 'West By God Virginia' Facebook pages; Rotary of Buckhannon-Upshur President Dave Long; and Buckhannon City Recorder and WAMSB Organizing Committee Chair Randy Sanders. (Photo by Monica Zalaznik)

Rotary honors citizens bettering the Buckhannon-Upshur community with second ‘Spirit of Service’ awards

BUCKHANNON – The Rotary Club of Buckhannon- Upshur chose two local community members to award their second annual Spirit of Service Community awards during its meeting Tuesday.  

The Rotary Club selected Buckhannon City Recorder Randy Sanders, who served as president of the WAMSB 2023 Buckhannon Host Committee, and community member and ‘Buckhannon Events’ group moderator Misty Post to receive the awards.

Rotary of Buckhannon-Upshur Club President Dave Long presents one of two Spirit of Service Awards to Buckhannon City Recorder and WAMSB Organizing Committee Chair Randy Sanders. (Photo by Monica Zalaznik)

At Rotary’s Feb. 20 meeting, members thanked them for their contributions to the Buckhannon-Upshur area. Rotary Club of Buckhannon-Upshur president Dave Long introduced Sanders as a key figure in introducing Buckhannon to the World Association of Marching Show Bands.

“In 2020, he headed up a group of community leaders to submit an extensive proposal to host the 2023 World Association of Marching Show Bands World Championships,” Long said. “The proposal, along with his appearance in front of the International Board of Directors, allowed the City of Buckhannon to win the bid.”

“After two-and-a-half years of planning, with Randy serving as the president and chairman of the event, the City of Buckhannon hosted a hugely successful 2023 World Association of Marching Show Bands World Championships with 19 bands coming from 13 countries and featuring over 3,000 participants.”

Buckhannon is the only second city in the U.S. to host the World Association of Marching Show Bands World Championship in the event’s 27-year history. Upon receiving the accolade, Sanders said the award would serve as a memento of positive memories made and fun had in the city during WAMSB in July of 2023.

“Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you to the Board of Directors for this wonderful award; it’s a beautiful plaque, and it’s a great memory of what 2023 meant in my life and to the lives of those here in the Buckhannon-Upshur community of West Virginia,” Sanders said. “This summer, the same event will be held in Germany; the next summer, it will go to India; and the following summer to Mexico, so that is the kind of company that we’re in now.”

Sanders said the event highlighted the hospitality the Buckhannon-Upshur community offers.

“With all of our troubles, all of our arguments, bumping shoulder-to-shoulder sometimes when making decisions, the United States is still the greatest country on earth, and Buckhannon is the greatest city on earth,” Sanders said.

The 2023 WAMSB Championships in Buckhannon introduced band members from across the planet to the U.S. for the first time, he added.

“This was the first time many of the participants ever set foot in the United States and quite possibly will be the last time many of them ever have an opportunity to step foot in the United States, so we hosted them here in Buckhannon, and we really rolled our sleeves as a community and did what Buckhannon does best, and that is to welcome the world – to welcome visitors no matter what their last names are, no matter what their citizenship is, no matter what their ethnicity, we welcome them,” Sanders said.

Long commended Post for her various social media pages, which help community members stay connected and informed.

Long presents one of two Spirit of Service awards to Misty Post, the administrator and founder of the ‘Buckhannon Events’ and “West By God Virginia’ Facebook pages. (Photo by Monica Zalaznik)

“The page ‘Buckhannon Events’ on Facebook has over 20,000 followers, and a big page she operates called ‘West By God Virginia’ has 200,000 followers,” Long said.

Post said she initially founded the ‘Buckhannon Events’ page as a way to invite people to any events, programs, or initiatives happening in the community, but now she would consider the page to be its own online community.

“I have seen the page help so many fire victims, people looking for jobs, people looking for their animals,” Post said Tuesday. “Lost something? Put it on the page. Do you want to find a church you like? Ask the page. We have sick people that use it to raise money to help with bills and awareness (of their illnesses), and one of the main uses is supporting our local businesses.”

Post said she started the pages about 10 to 20-plus years ago.

“I started the pages to help the community because they’ve done so much to help us after we lost Zachary (Misty Post’s stepson) and my mother,” Post said. “We had so much support that I wanted to try to do everything I could to give back.”

“We have the Zach Post food drive to help the Parish House and the Salvation Army and really, anybody who needs help, but it went from me running the page to the community running the page,” she added. “I really don’t have to do much anymore other than keep certain things off, but it’s more good than bad.”

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