Editor's note: The editorial boards of the Clarksburg Exponent and Telegram newspapers devote Saturday's editorial to recognizing positive efforts from people throughout our readership area. We call this feature, "Hats off." To nominate a person or group for recognition, contact John Miller (626-1473), Bob Stealey (626-1438) or James Logue (626-1031).
Our hats are off to:
-- David Thompson and his company, Spectrum Astro, for investing in the future of West Virginia by opening a high technology business in Harrisville.
-- Grant Town native Rich Rodriguez for accepting the head football coaching position at West Virginia University. We believe having a native son in Morgantown will create even more interest in the program.
-- Hundreds of parents and grandparents in our area who donate their time to volunteer at schools.
-- The Harrison County Humane Society and its Adopt-A-Critter Tree program. This worthwhile group annually helps to provide shelter, food and loving care to hundreds of lost or abandoned animals.
-- Lieutenant Cindy Murphy, the only female firefighter in Clarksburg's department and one of just a few in the state. Murphy was recently promoted to her new rank.
-- The nearly 100 people who participated in the 21st HardTimes Benefit for Kids motorcycle toy run. The HardTimes group raised more than $7,000 this year to help provide toys for needy children.
-- The Doddridge-Ritchie chapter of Habitat for Humanity, which has built nine houses and has already begun fund-raising efforts for a 10th.
-- The city of Elkins and the Randolph County Commission for providing some money for the Randolph County YMCA, which has been experiencing budgetary shortfalls.
-- The Harrison County Medical Society Alliance and Information and Referral Service, which have sponsored the "Christmas Store for Kids" since 1992. The program helps provide Christmas gifts for teen-agers in need.
-- The Clarksburg Downtown Associates for staging a fantastic Christmas parade and Fox 46 Television for broadcasting it for those unable to attend.
-- The West Virginia State Police for its program, "State Troopers for West Virginia Needy," which consists of the 60-plus-detachment-force collecting toys and non-perishable canned goods at each location. The troopers then partner with the Salvation Army to make sure the toys and food go to those most in need.
-- To police departments in North Central West Virginia for kicking off their program to reduce highways deaths. One of their goals will be to get more motorists to buckle up.