For The Register-Herald
Richard Jarrell received the Spirit of Philanthropy award for volunteer service at the 2012 Annual Conference of West Virginia Grantmakers earlier this month at the Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg.
Member organizations from all over the Mountain State can submit nominations for this award. Jarrell was nominated by the Beckley Area Foundation. He is a successful local civic leader, community volunteer and businessman, operating two area Chick-fil-A franchises.
Jarrell has served on the BAF Distributions Committee for a number of years, chairs the current United Way Campaign, is an elected member of the Ra-leigh County Board of Education and serves on the boards of Raleigh General Hospital, the Raleigh County Public Library, the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center and the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce.
“Richard fits the stereotype of a person who is driven to be the best in his career field,” noted Susan Landis, executive director of BAF. “However, he also makes time to contribute to his community in very meaningful ways.
“He approaches every challenge, every task with enthusiasm and optimism. This is infectious,” added Landis. “Each challenge is approached with the attitude that we can work together, find fun and satisfaction while accomplishing the work, and never rest on our laurels.”
Noteworthy among Jarrell’s gifts to our community are the creation of the Jarrell Family Fund at BAF, his participation in “Dancing with the Stars” to raise funds for United Way and the addition of the “Festival of Trees” as a much-anticipated annual event.
In presenting the award, Sharon Lilly, BAF program director, commented, “Successful people share a number of traits. They are energetic, creative, passionate, determined and dedicated. Richard Jarrell possesses all of these characteristics and selflessly donates time, talent and treasury to our community.
“However, Richard also possesses a unique trait. When an individual or group interacts with him, he is able to convey a deep belief that you and your interests matter. He then moves to encourage and help you accomplish your goal.”