Pictured: Wayde Fowler of Onancock received the 2019 Unsung Virginian Award in a surprise presentation during an Onancock Elks Lodge fundraiser Jan. 26. (Pictured from left) Addison Nottingham, chairman of the ANEC board of directors; Richard Johnstone, CEO of VMDAEC; Herbert Patrick, chairman of the VMDAEC board of directors, Wayde Fowler, 2019 Unsung Virginian; Bob Jones, vice chairman of the VMDAEC board of directors; Butch Williamson, president and CEO of ANEC, and ANEC board members Garrison Drummond and Robert Nock.
Wayde N. Fowler of Onancock has received the 2019 Unsung Virginian Award, presented by the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC).
In its 51st year as a statewide honor, the Unsung Virginian Award recognizes outstanding citizens for services rendered to the Commonwealth without thought of personal gain.
Fowler, a longtime Elks member and resident of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, received the award in a surprise ceremony held during a fundraising dinner at the Onancock Elks Lodge Saturday night, Jan. 26. He is a member of A&N Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Tasley, Va., which serves all of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
Fowler was nominated for the 2019 Unsung Virginian Award by Charles Parks, a neighbor and fellow Elks Lodge member who noted that “Mr. Fowler selflessly donates countless hours in the Elks fundraising for families or persons in need and has been the driving force behind a variety of fund-raising efforts that have enabled the Onancock Elks to donate more than $100,000 per year back to local Eastern Shore families and organizations.”
Parks added, “He is a very humble person, but the impact he has had on the Eastern Shore is immeasurable.”
As he presented Fowler with the Unsung Virginian award, VMDAEC President & CEO Richard Johnstone said, “This award has a long, distinguished history dating back to 1968. Wayde is richly deserving of this honor and he joins a long list of outstanding Virginians who have quietly but effectively made a very positive difference in the lives of their communities and the Commonwealth as a whole.”
On hand for the surprise award presentation were Butch Williamson, president and CEO of A&N Electric Cooperative, as well as A&N directors Addison Nottingham, Robert Nock and Garrison Drummond. Speaking on behalf of A&N Electric Cooperative, Williamson said, “We’re very excited that Wayde won the Unsung Virginian Award this year. Wayde is one of those treasures you find in every community. We’re proud of him, and proud of what he does for the community. He is very much deserving of the 2019 Unsung Virginian Award.”
VMDAEC Board Chairman Herbert Patrick added, “Mr. Fowler embodies the 7th cooperative principle of ‘concern for community.’ His selfless contributions to improving life on the Eastern Shore through his work with the Elks define the very spirt of this award made on behalf of Virginia’s electric cooperatives.”
After receiving the award, Fowler noted that he was “really surprised and honored” by the award. He noted that credit should go to the Onancock Elks for the good work that the organization does on behalf of the community, including support for organizations such as the local Boy Scout troop and for individuals who have had health or other personal challenges.