Outstanding Stewards of Blue Ridge Parkway Honored

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Submitted on August 25, 2014

Superintendent Mark Woods, Award winner Pat Shore Clark and Foundation Chair Broaddus Fitzpatrick

Blowing Rock, NC --- Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Mark Woods was joined by Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation Chair Broaddus Fitzpatrick and CEO Carolyn Ward recently at a ceremony to recognize outstanding members of the Parkway’s Community of Stewards. “We appreciate every gift and act of kindness to benefit the Parkway” said Carolyn Ward, “but sometimes people take very meaningful actions that deserve special recognition.” Six awards were presented during the Blowing Rock, NC luncheon that followed the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation Board of Trustees regular meeting. About 90 guests gathered for the lunch by Chetola Lake that was sponsored by Biltmore, Peaks of Otter Lodge, and Chetola Resort.


An award honoring leadership was presented to and named for Pat Shore Clark, whose impressive professional career included serving as the Chief of Staff for Senator Sam Ervin during the Watergate hearings. Ms. Clark’s non-profit service is also noteworthy. She has served the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation for over a decade, serving four terms on the Board of Trustees, as the Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Treasurer, and advisor. “In addition to providing wise leadership, she has been a model board member who put the mission of the organization first, acting selflessly and with integrity” said Mark Woods. The Pat Shore Clark Stewardship award will be given in future years by the Foundation to recognize outstanding leaders.


Chetola Resort was named a Parkway Plus Champion. Chetola was one of the first to join Parkway Plus, a system of asking tourists to add $1 to each night’s stay to benefit the Parkway. Chetola also established the 5K Corkscrew Run that benefits the Foundation during the annual Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival. “Chetola has supported the Foundation’s efforts to protect and preserve the Parkway at every turn, and we are grateful” said Ward. Chetola was extolled as “a dedicated member of our Community of Stewards and a vital part of the Blue Ridge Parkway family”. Kent Tarbutton and Marcia Green accepted the award.


John Cooper, Chairman and Fred Martin, President accepted the Corporate Champions award to Mast General Store. Mast General Store hosts a yearly event at 6 of their Western North Carolina stores called Blue Ridge Parkway Day, where 10% of the proceeds are donated to the Foundation to help support specific projects along the Parkway; they purchased NC Blue Ridge Parkway specialty license plates for their fleet vehicles and their employees also contribute to the Foundation through their employee giving program. “Mast General Store is the ideal corporation that values community and tradition. We are so fortunate to have them as a part of our Community of Stewards” said Ward.


The Tessien family, Cynthia, Bill, Billy and Tommy of Winston Salem and Blowing Rock, were honored for Fostering New Horizons for Kids in Parks. They are avid outdoor recreationists who encouraged the development of bike TRACK Trails as part of the Kids in Parks program.  Established initially for the Blue Ridge Parkway by the Foundation, Kids in Parks has expanded to 100 trails in 7 states and Washington DC. The first bike TRACK Trails are in development at Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park in Boone and Salem Lake in Winston Salem. The Tessiens not only inspired the concept but Billy and Tommy have consulted with Kids in Park staff providing their perspective and ideas to make the bike trails relevant to youth.


Keith Hart of Galax, VA was honored for outstanding dedication to the Blue Ridge Music Center where he has donated generously of his personal time to ensure that everyone coming to hear traditional mountain music would have a fabulous auditory experience. Keith was accompanied by his wife Glenda and co-workers Don Sawyers and Henry Hoover.


Paul Bonesteel,  an award winning film maker and principal with Bonesteel Films of Asheville, was recognized for Creative Philanthropy. Bonesteel has made several videos for the Foundation to promote the Blue Ridge Parkway NC specialty license plate, a nature video, and most recently an inspirational music video featuring the Steep Canyon Rangers.


Brad Wilson, CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina  & Foundation, was recognized for Innovative Philanthropy. Six years ago, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation invested in the idea for the Foundation’s program designed to get kids and families to think about the Blue Ridge Parkway and its trails as places where they could improve their health by becoming active outdoors. Today, thanks to their continued support, the Kids in Parks program has been embraced by numerous national, state, and municipal parks, as well as other public and private lands, creating a national network of more than 100 TRACK Trails working to improve the health of families and parks. 


The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation welcomes anyone who has an interest in the future of the Blue Ridge Parkway to become a member of the Foundation’s Community of Stewards. For more information visit brpfoundation.org or call 866-308-2773.

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