KEYSER - Brady Ours was named the recipient of the 73rd annual J. Edward Kelley Award during a ceremony held on the morning of what would have been Kelley's 95th birthday.
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Brady Ours was named the recipient of the 73rd annual J. Edward Kelley Award during a ceremony held on the morning of what would have been Kelley’s 95th birthday.
Ours, the son of Wes and Alycia Ours of Keyser, accepted the award by saying he was “beyond grateful” for having been nominated for the honor.
Paying tribute to his fellow nominees - Marcus Crowl and Ryan Spencer - and making note of Kelley’s exceptional character, integrity, and leadership, Brady said “things such as these define the two men who are on the stage with me today.”
He thanked his family, teachers and coaches, and promised them that “one day I’ll be the man you want me to be, but more importantly, the man I want to be.”
Crowl, the son of Fred and Holly Paugh-Cowl of New Creek told the crowd at the Church-McKee Arts Center that he was “overwhelmed with pride” to be nominated for the award.
Noting that giving a speech in front of a crowd definitely pushed him out of his comfort zone, Crowl said he was told “our greatest opportunities always come from outside our comfort zones.”
Spencer, the son of Robert and Cathy Spencer of Keyser, called Kelley “a true hero,” and noted that “we are here today to … honor and respect the great sacrifices Jonah Edward Kelley and the members of the 78th Lightning Division made.”
Three members of the 78th, the division in which Kelley served, were present this week for the Kelley Award festivities - Tom Stryker of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, who has been attending the Kelley program for 20 years; Gabriel Augustine of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, who has been attending for 35 years; and Stuart Brandow of Woodbridge, New Jersey, who has been attending for 38 years.
Keyser High School principal Mike Lewis served as emcee for the program, and noted the importance of family to the young men’s success.
“I’m sure each of these young men will tell you they did not get here alone,” he said.