An event on Saturday, Jan. 5 saw several Shepherdstown residents honored for their service to the community by Full 'Steem Ahead Life Coaching and Mentoring. Receiving recognition were Denny Barron, Debera Spates, Rosabell Roman and William "Coach" Osbourn. The organization will also recognize Faustine Washington at an upcoming gathering in February as Washington was not available for Saturday's event.
Full 'Steem is an organization founded by Teresa Holmes-Lindsey, who calls Shepherdstown home. Holmes-Lindsey shared that one goal of the ceremony was to show the young people of the community the importance of giving back to one's community. She also shared that it was a way to show that show the youth fine examples of individuals who have served their hometown community with dedication and pride.
"We hear so much negativity," she said. "People say if you want to be successful you have to leave the Panhandle. We want to show that is not the case."
To help spread the word through the youth community, the cheerleaders of Shepherdstown Middle School were invited to the event. The squad served the meal as well as performed the Shepherdstown High School fight song when it came time to honor Osbourn.
Holmes-Lindsey indicated that the Full 'Steem program involves youth in every program.
"It is important for them to know they can succeed anywhere, no matter where they are," she said.
Echoing those sentiments was guest speaker Sherry Branson, who serves as chief counsel of the Oversight Staff Leadership Team of the U.S. Homeland Security.
Branson told the attendees, "I'm from Shepherdstown, even though I haven't lived here for years. This place has always been my rock, where I learned love of family."
During her speech, Branson stressed to the youth and adults alike, "Don't let anyone turn you around or tell you you can't do something." Another lesson she said she wanted to share was that even if one only has a little bit to give, it can touch someone else in a miraculous way.
"The honorees today already know those lessons," she concluded.
Denny Barron was the first honoree recognized. Barron was born and raised in Shepherdstown, graduating from Shepherdstown High in 1969. Barron went on to graduate from Shepherd College and has been employed at Jefferson Security Bank where he now serves and executive vice president, for 39 years. Barron is involved in a variety of volunteer endeavors including his service of 23 years with the Shepherdstown Fire Department as well as in 4-H and the Jefferson County Fair Association.
"If only I had as much energy as he does," Holmes-Lindsey said upon presenting Barron with his award.
Debera Spates was the next recipient of the day's award. Spates heads up Forgotten Children Ministry which she founded more than 20 years ago. The Ministry has a Facebook presence now where, according to Holmes-Lindsey, Spates keeps track of multiple needs and uses the social media outlet to meet those needs.
"She never ever turns anyone down," Holmes-Lindsey said.
Coach Osbourn was present to receive multiple accolades for his influence in the community. Osbourn served for 34 years at Shepherdstown High School he taught and coached. Speaking about the influence of Osbourn, Bishop Charles Hunter shared his story of being the first African American student at Shepherdstown High.
"I was the first black in Jefferson County to integrate the schools," Hunter said. "Coach accepted me as if I was his son."
He went on to share that Osbourn always showed integrity and caring and set an example of how Hunter wished to live his life.
"I believe the community of Shepherdstown ought to be proud of this man. He has set an example in our community," Hunter concluded.
Steve Holmes, a coach and former student of Osbourn's agreed. He commented, "When someone comes back and asks 'How's Coach?" we all know, no matter how many coaches there are, the question is about Coach Osbourn."
Roman was the fourth honoree of the day; however, she was not present to accept her award. Holmes-Lindsey shared that Roman, a lifelong resident of Berkeley County, was the chair of the Martin Luther King Scholarship committee for many years and is still actively involved in that group.
Holmes-Lindsey concluded the program by reiterating that "success has not come to anyone because they have left West Virginia. Success comes because of hard work."