Looking for Gems of the Valley

I hope you all are having a wonderful Easter Sunday morning. The snow is behind us (right? RIGHT?!), and all the possibilities of Spring are ahead. Today we can attend joyful church services or just find joy in planning this year’s flower garden. But whether you will snack today on unnaturally colored marshmallow creatures or Easter lamb, the energy of the season is electric.

Don’t let it fool you like it did me, a few years back, though. When I say “planning” this year’s flower garden, take heed. On what turned out to be that very expensive Easter Sunday I gave in to the impulse to drive to a garden center after lunch and buy a whole trunkload of beautifully blooming flowers. I then spent until dinnertime happily placing them in containers. Outside. That day was gorgeously sunny, and, in my memory anyway, about 80 degrees. Guess how many days later it turned frosty again and ruined them all.

Oh it is so hard not to give in to the temptation, though – to dive in to Spring with both hands in the dirt and every color in the rainbow available from a greenhouse. I’ve learned my lesson, but maybe only by a week or two. Fair warning, local garden centers, there will be no stopping me in May.

Meanwhile, I and the rest of the newsroom will have another project to distract us. Too often in our business we end up speaking with and being aware of a very small percentage of the community. There are standouts in all fields – culture, food, politics, education, sports – whose names fill our contacts files and appear regularly on our pages.

On the other hand, there are lots of folks across the Mid-Ohio Valley doing amazing things for their communities whose names we never hear. They quietly go about making the world a better place without getting their pictures in the newspaper or seeing their names in print. These local gems might have amazing talents, incredible stories to tell, or deserve recognition for their efforts, but they are often so busy carrying out those efforts they don’t have time to pat themselves on the back.

That’s where you come in, readers. The News and Sentinel would like to hear from you about the Gems of the Valley who have been flying under our radar. If you know someone who deserves to be recognized, who is truly a gem of the Mid-Ohio Valley, please send a nomination to:

Gems of the Valley

c/o Christina Myer

519 Juliana St.

Parkersburg, WV 26101

Send it in before May 3, so we can get to work on a series that should appear in print weekly, beginning Memorial Day. Please include the name of the person and where he or she lives, as well as a brief description of what makes him or her a gem. Please include your own contact information, as well.

I love the idea of this project for Spring, and it is probably a far better way to celebrate the season and the good in the world than checking the Farmer’s Almanac for the exact nanosecond it is acceptable to plant a few measly flowers. But, again, we can’t do it without your help.

Start thinking of those gems, folks. And have a happy Easter, everyone!

Christina Myer is executive editor of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. She can be reached via e-mail at cmyer@newsandsentinel.com