CHARLESTON — Deana Spaulding of Point Pleasant has turned a personal tragedy into successful advocacy and education about the dangers of impaired driving. Her service to the community has led to her being a recipient of the 2016 Governor’s Service Award.
On Tuesday, Sept. 6, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will honor Spaulding’s dedication to service at the annual Governor’s Service Awards dinner at the Culture Center at the State Capitol.
Presented since 1995, the Governor’s Service Awards honors individuals, families and organizations that exemplify outstanding dedication to volunteerism and community service in West Virginia. Spaulding will receive her award in the Adult category.
In November 2011, Spaulding lost her 14-year old daughter, Andrea Bailes, in a drunk driving crash involving an impaired driver. When she discovered the driver had multiple previous DUI arrests, she began her campaign to change the law as it relates to driving under the influence. In June 2015, her efforts resulted in the passage of Andrea and Willy’s Law, which increases the jail time and penalties for those that have caused injury or death as a result of driving while impaired.
Spaulding has also worked with the West Virginia Emergency Medical Services for Children program on the production of a 10 minute video entitled “For Andrea.” This video puts a face on the effect unsafe driving can have on a family. It is the focal point of the “Stay Alive, Just Drive” campaign that addresses the dangers of impaired and distracted driving.
Spaulding also gives freely of her time by speaking about safe driving at numerous schools and organizations.
The Governor’s Service Awards are administered by Volunteer West Virginia, the state’s Commission for National and Community Service. A volunteer review committee reads and selects the recipients on the basis of achievement, community needs, continuing involvement, innovation and impact of service.
Other recipients of the 2016 Governor’s Service Awards include, by category: Young Adult: Amanda Whitman, Logan County; Senior: Dennis ‘Clif’ Schoonover, Randolph County; Family: The Workman Family, Harrison County; Organization: Mountaineer Spay Neuter Assistance Program, Monongalia County; Ansted Improvement Motivators, Fayette County; Grayhound Youth Sports, McDowell County.
For tickets to the awards dinner contact Moya Doneghy at (304) 558-0111, or by email at email@example.com.
— Submitted by Volunteer West Virginia.