PARKERSBURG - Wood County Habitat for Humanity honored a third outstanding volunteer for his work with the organization with a presentation of the Ray of Light Award on Thursday afternoon.
Marlin Buckmaster of Vienna was given the recognition in the construction zone of what will be the 66th Habitat house, located on Dillaway Street near 13th Street.
"It is a real honor to receive this award," Buckmaster said. "I am surprised to be named the Ray of Light."
Photo by Jolene Craig
Marlin Buckmaster, right, is given a gift bag containing the Ray of Light Award by Wood County Habitat for Humanity executive director Alvin Phillips, left, on Thursday afternoon to recognize Buckmaster’s years of service to the organization.
Buckmaster has helped with the construction of more than 30 homes with the local organization since he began volunteering following his retirement from DuPont in 1997.
"I needed something to do with my time and I wanted to help others," he said. "Habitat was a perfect fit."
Alvin Phillips, executive director of Wood County Habitat for Humanity, said Buckmaster has not only been a volunteer for the organization but has also sat on the board of directors as well as being a donor.
Buckmaster "has been a helpful member of the Habitat family for well over a decade," Phillips said.
Buckmaster said he has done a little bit of everything with the homes he has helped build and has enjoyed every moment of it.
"I have probably worked on 30-some houses and enjoyed almost all of it," he joked. "I really have enjoyed working with the families and seeing what great things having a home of their own can do for people."
Buckmaster continued that he believes the mission of Habitat for Humanity to give families affordable houses of their own is important and he does not plan to stop working for the international organization.
Buckmaster and his wife Barbara Buckmaster will move from the Mid-Ohio Valley to Indiana next week where he plans to continue to volunteer for the local Habitat for Humanity there.
"I will not stop working for Habitat," Buckmaster said. "Whether here in West Virginia or my new home in Indiana, I enjoy working with the organization and stand by what they do, which is allow families a way to have good, affordable homes."
Buckmaster is the third recipient of the Ray of Light Award since it was created in April last year, said Phillips.
"Since he is moving, we couldn't think of a better way to thank him for everything he has done than to give him this award," Phillips continued.
The award was named in honor of Wood County resident and former Wood County Habitat for Humanity construction supervisor Ray Boso. Between 1996 through 2005, Boso helped build 32 homes, from Wood County's eighth through 39th homes.
"Ray was a very important part of Wood County Habitat's growth and every person who has and will receive this award is equally important," Phillips said.
The first recipient was Kevin McCarthy and the second was John Doughty.
A plaque for the Ray of Light Award is displayed in the Habitat office at 1450 Seventh St. in Parkersburg.
"We could give the award to so many of our outstanding volunteers, but there are some who, for one reason or another, stand out in their service," said Phillips. "Marlin is one of those wonderful people - a volunteer extraordinaire."