Beckley, WV – (WWNR) – A large crowd came out to the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center Monday night to honor Richard and Beth Jarrell. The Chick-Fil-A owner-operator and his wife were recipients of the YMCA of Southern WV’s 2023 Spirit Of Beckley Award.
“The turnout’s amazing. I think we sold out,” said Richard Jarrell. “We have about 600 here tonight. So we’re just excited to be able to celebrate with all of them.”
“They’ve done a lot for the city of Beckley and Raleigh County, Southern West Virginia through their time and resources,” said Jay Rist, CEO for the YMCA of Southern West Virginia. “And we’re just here tonight to celebrate them and, and kind of culminate the largest fundraiser of the year for the Y.”
The Spirit Of Beckley Community Service Award is given each year to individuals who have selflessly worked to enrich the area and positively affect the lives of the people who live here. By being selected, the recipients become the cornerstone for the Spirit of Beckley, which serves as the Y’s annual fundraising campaign. Members and the community are asked to contribute to the campaign in honor of the recipients.
“They put together the teams that go out and make the contacts, raise money for all the great stuff that’s going on at the Y,” said Jarrell. “That’s the most important thing.”
“We’re being honored, but it’s really, this is what happens for the Y. So, that’s what we’re really most interested in.”
“For the first time ever, we actually set our goal for a hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Typically, we do a hundred thousand but this year we shot big. And I’m proud to say that we did reach our goal of 150. It’s a real testament to Richard and Beth, and how well they’re thought of. It’s a testament to the YMCA, because for 60 years we’ve been at the heart of the Beckley community. And it’s also a testament to our community, who comes together every time to support non profits and the work that we do here.”
The Jarrells have worked with the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce, the Beckley Area Foundation, the United Way of Southern West Virginia and the YMCA. Richard Jarrell was a former member of the Raleigh County Board Of Education, while Beth Jarrell is a member of the Quota Club of Beckley and helped found the Susan Landis Youth Philanthropist Group.
“When we came here, that’s what we said. We want to be a part of this community, said Richard Jarrell. “We want to make an impact on this community. And we’ve been blessed to be able to do that over these years.”
“It’s overwhelming,” said Beth Jarrell. “Just the outpouring of love and recognition that everyone is giving us because so many in this community do so much.”
In addition to the Spirit of Beckley Award, the Jarrells were also presented with the Distinguished West Virginian Award and received a key to the city from Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold.