OPINION

FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: They didn't want the spotlight

Liz Beavers
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Liz Beavers

I have always said people who volunteer their time and give of themselves but never ask for any credit are doing things for the right reasons.

There are so many people out there who volunteer for things but want to make sure they get the credit for what they’ve done.

You know the kind - present a photo op and they’re always front and center. Bring up a particular improvement or event and they are the first to step up and take the credit.

More often than not, though, if you look past those folks you will see the real workers who are down in the trenches getting things done and not asking for any recognition or credit at all.

They just want to get things done for their church, school, club, city, county or whatever the case may be.

In my career as a writer I have known several people whom I practically begged to let me write their story but they refused. They didn’t want to be in the spotlight.

Two in particular come to mind as I am writing this. Both of them have passed away now, so maybe a little mention in the paper is ok

First was Milt Hart, a long-time resident of Westernport who, after retiring from the Maryland State Police, put in much time and effort on things related to the local history of Westernport and also to the veterans memorial located along Route 36 just outside of Westernport.

A founding member of the Westernport Heritage Society, he was especially a fan of railroad memorabilia and worked with CSX to obtain the red caboose that still sits in the park in the center of town.

I asked Mr. Hart, a gentle, quiet man, several times to let me do a story on him and he would just smile and shake his head.

He didn’t want the spotlight on him; he wanted it on the town’s history and the veterans remembered at the memorial.

The second one who came to mind was Wanda Boyce. A Keyser resident, Wanda spent countless hours helping area young women prepare for many beauty and scholarship pageants, including Miss America.

Now I would be the first to tell you as I was growing up I was not a fan of what I thought at the time that the so-called beauty pageants represented. Miss Golden Tornado material I was not!

However, from talking with Wanda I learned there is so much more to participating in pageants. These young women learn poise, composure, grace, and public speaking, not to mention thinking on your feet when it comes to answering the panel questions - all important attributes to have when you’re out in “the real world.”

Wanda would speak of “her girls” with pride, and I asked her several times to let me do a story on the work she was doing with them and the many young girls’ lives she had influenced.

But again, she didn’t want the spotlight on her; she wanted it to shine on her girls and their accomplishments.

Now what brought all this to mind was the comments made during the last Keyser City Council meeting about the volunteers at the pool not getting enough credit for the work they have done to keep the pool up and running for the kids and families of the community.

And it occurred to me while I was sitting there listening to Cheri Alt, Jeff Broadwater, and the mayor and council talking about the good things going on at the pool, there were two who were not talking much or taking any credit, and that was the two co-chairs - Lynn Robinson and Missy Cummings.

And yet I daresay - with a grateful nod to all the volunteers and city workers who pull together to keep the pool up and running - Lynn and Missy are the heart and soul of the Save the Keyser Pool Committee and of the pool itself. For several years now they have worked year ‘round - not just during pool season - to see that the pool was able to be open to provide some wholesome summer fun for Keyser area families.

And this year in particular they took some heat from the public for issues that from what I can see either were minor or were quickly dealt with.

You know how it goes … you always here the “bad” way before you hear about the good things.

And so a big THANK YOU goes out to Lynn and Missy for their hard work and dedication, the measure of which only those two know for sure.

Did they do it to get their pictures in the paper or to receive this call-out in the paper?

No. Once again, they don’t want the spotlight on them; they want it on the families who are able to enjoy the pool and on those businesses and individuals who generously donated money, time and/or goods to help make it happen.

And that, my friends, is doing good things for the right reason!

Liz Beavers is a veteran writer and managing editor of the Mineral Daily News Tribune. You can check out her bio and more of her work at https://www.newstribune.info/staff/6477370002/liz-beavers/. To reach out to her with a story idea, email lbeavers@newstribune.info.