Last updated: March 28. 2014 11:15AM - 1121 Views
By Michael Howlett mhowlett@civitasmedia.com

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Mava Vass became the third recipient of the Citizen of the Month Award during the Hillsville Town Council meeting on March 10.

In announcing Vass as the selection for March, Councilman Ed Terry said, “My electoral district has a lot of folks who have rich histories as community servants and many who are currently active in many ways to serve their fellow citizens. In choosing the first recipient of recognition from the Pine Creek District, one person stands out in both categories. It brings me great pleasure to recognize Mava Vass as the March 2014 Citizen of the Month.”

Terry added, “Some may say the fix was in due to the fact that Mava is my next door neighbor, is an adopted grandmother for my children and is welcome in our home without the need for knocking.”

However, Terry said after hearing a review of Vass’ rich history of service and current involvement in the community, he felt those present would agree with his choice.

“The area of service that represents the longest history is education and support of students. She started her teaching career at age 18 in a one room school in the Dugspur area where she was raised. She taught in Carroll, Floyd and Loudon counties, Hampton City Schools and Wytheville Community College. For those of my generation we remember her as the teacher of academic senior English at Carroll County High School. She expected more than we thought ourselves capable, accepted no excuses and lovingly prepared us for the real world,” said Terry.

“Mava has continued to serve. She is currently the chairman of the Wytheville Community College Board. She served on the WCC Foundation Board, where she is still a member. She has tirelessly worked to heighten the value of WCC in Carroll County by organizing the annual Student and Alumni Picnic. Each summer she hosts a meal in her home for individuals and business people interested in supporting WCC. As a result, Carroll County currently leads all counties in enrollment of students. The most recent report shows 834 students enrolled are Carroll County citizens.”

Vass serves on the Mount Rogers Community Service Board, the Twin County Regional Hospital Foundation Board and the Twin County Regional Hospital Community Advisory Board, as well as being a member of the United Way and the Hillsville Lions Club. She also helped organize the honors wall, picnic and Carter Park projects.

“Service through her church is very important to Mava,” said Terry. “She has been a very active member of the Hillsville Presbyterian Church for many years. She was one of the designers and initiators of the ecumenical Open Table Ministry. This ministry is in its seventeenth year and currently provides 470 hot meals twice monthly. She is also involved in Hillsville Presbyterian church’s Backpack Buddies Ministry, which fills 170 backpacks weekly to provide weekend meals for Carroll County students.

“The Presbyterian Church also supports Relay for Live with funds raised through a bridge luncheon. Mava coordinates that event, as well as, doing the majority of the cooking and still manages to play bridge during the luncheon.”

Terry added that Vass also coordinate her church’s fund raising to support the Fuller Center, is an integral part of the church’s new ministry of providing pregnancy kits to expectant mothers and serves on the Leadership Council of the Abington Presbytery.

“I don’t know if she would count this as community service, but the 100 or so of her neighbors she hosts for a Christmas meal every year certainly do. He cakes are famous, her cooking is always great and the good will that is garnered and shared at the annual event certainly brings her neighborhood closer. I would call that community service indeed.”

“Mava is very modest regarding her involvement in so many important areas of service to her neighbors,” continued Terry. “She would not have chosen for me to shine the light on her efforts , but I explained that the example she sets for her community shines brightly on its own. Please join me in recognizing Mava for her lifetime example of service to her fellow man.”

Michael Howlett can be contacted at 276-728-7311 or @MikeEHowlett

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