McCreary County’s Derek Jones is region’s top volunteerJanuary 1, 2014 by clackey
Derek Jones of Whitley City has been named southern and eastern Kentucky’s PRIDE Volunteer of the Month.
Jones, who is a driver for Crete Carrier Corporation, earned the volunteerism award for regularly picking up litter along Hwy. 1651 in Whitley City. He and his mother, Barbara, adopted the stretch of highway in memory of his grandmother, Thelma. He also volunteers each year for the local PRIDE Spring Cleanup.
“We want to thank Derek and his family for this commitment to making a visible difference in the community,” said PRIDE’s Mark Davis, who presented the award.
“In a county as beautiful as McCreary County, litter can be a road block to tourism and hurt the local economy, and Derek gets that,” Davis continued. “He does his part to keep the county clean, and he’s active in local tourism projects.”
“Derek is a great example of the effort each community needs from its citizens,” said Andrew Powell, who is the McCreary County Deputy Judge-Executive and PRIDE Coordinator. He nominated Jones for the PRIDE award.
“It is easy for us to complain about the problems we see in our community, but if we are unwilling to make effort ourselves to change things, we will continue to not find the qualities we desire in our community,” Powell explained. “Derek is working to improve the quality of his community and it would be great if more of us would follow his example.”
Powell said Jones serves his community in many ways. He has helped with beautification events and Christmas decorating events and programs. He has volunteered with local emergency services and law enforcement agencies.
“In addition to his civic duty to his county, Derek has served his country in the U.S. Army, as a Gulf War Veteran and serves his fellow veterans as a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #5127,” Powell added.
The PRIDE Volunteer of the Month program recognizes hard work and dedication to the PRIDE initiative, which promotes environmental education and cleanup efforts in a 42-county region. With corporate sponsorship from TECO Coal, WYMT-TV airs commercials about each PRIDE Volunteer of the Month.