Wallace and Peggy Carroll Vigilance Award

The Wallace Carroll Vigilance Awards honor the spirit, dedication, and perseverance that former Winston-Salem Journal publisher and editor, Wallace Carroll, brought to the battle to save the New River. His journalism experience and his nationwide connections convinced newspaper editors all over the country to join with the Committee for the New in its successful efforts to prevent the damming of the River. The resulting nationwide support convinced the Committee to evolve into the National Committee for the New River.

In the more than thirty years since these events, many additional organizations and supporters have been instrumental in protecting, revering, and restoring the New River. These awards have been established to recognize the efforts of the many individuals and groups that have kept, and continue to keep, the New River like it is.

Categories and Criteria

Lifetime Achievement

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes steadfast, continuous support of the River through years of active, unwavering vigilance. Individuals, groups, foundations, media sources, and granting agencies are eligible for this award.

The award will recognize efforts that have resulted in any or all of the following:

  • Victories in River protection through advocacy
  • Sustaining financial support that enhances the mission of River protection
  • Continuous, committed efforts to bring attention to River issues
  • Service through volunteer participation and financial support

Volunteer of the Year

The Volunteer of the Year recognizes an individual who, within the past year, has participated in a significant way to preserve, protect, and restore the River. This individual may have participated in any or all of the following: advocacy, public education, helping with River clean-up, and/or service to one of the New River partner organizations. The involvement of the Volunteer of the Year will evidence passion and dedication for the mission of River protection.

Advocacy Group of the Year

The Advocacy Group of the Year recognizes a group of individuals bound together with a common purpose. The group may or may not be a regular, standing organization, but must have worked together to accomplish a specific goal within the past year. Advocacy may involve any or all of the following efforts: stopping or limiting development inconsistent with the goals of River protection; successful lobbying for legislation to protect the River; advocating for the River through education and outreach.

Legislator of the Year

The Legislator of the Year recognizes an elected governmental public servant who has exhibited stalwart support for protection of the River. This support may be through the introduction of bills that are successful in limiting development on the River, giving protection to specific sections of the River, or securing governmental funding for River protection.

Past Recipients

  • 2023: Carrie McClain (NC)
  • 2022: Charlotte Hanes (VA), Jon Parker (NC), Anna Ziegler (WV)
  • 2021: Mark Ehrnschwender (WV), George Santucci (NC), Laura Walters (VA)
  • 2020: Tom Jones and Mountain Alliance (NC)
  • 2019: Barry and Peggy Clemmer (NC), Scot Pope (NC), Hotel Tavern (NC), Dave Bassage (WV)
  • 2018: Bill Parker (WV), Cathy Hanks (VA), Tom Hansell (NC)
  • 2017: Back Country and Ski (WV), Mary Anne Redding (NC), Turchin Center (NC)
  • 2016: New River State Park - Joe Shimel, Eva and Jack Lynch (NC) - Volunteer of the Year, Mary and Jerry Young (NC) - Lifetime Achievement, Rufus Edmisten (NC) - Lifetime Achievement
  • 2015: Mike Leonard (NC), John Copeland (VA), Jeff Payne (NC)
  • 2014: Carol Coulter (NC) - Volunteer of the Year, Carl Galie (NC), Tim Phipps (VA), Bill and Debbie Gardner (VA)
  • 2013: GE Aviation (NC) - Advocacy Group of the Year, Henry Doss (NC) - Lifetime Achievement, Jonathan Parker (NC) - Volunteer of the Year, Roger Angles (VA)
  • 2012: Gene Phipps (VA), Alexander Davidson (NC), Leslter Halsey (VA), Roger Angles (VA) - Volunteer of the Year
  • 2011: Terry and Suzy Kepple (NC) - Volunteer of the Year, John MacConnell (NC) - Lifetime Achievement
  • 2010: Elden Horton (VA) - Volunteer of the Year, Bill and Debbie Gardner (VA), John Robertson (VA) - Advocate of the Year, Phil Hanes (NC) - Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2009: Cynthia Hancock (VA) - Volunteer of the Year, Osborne Family (VA), Phyllis Parker (WV) - Lifetime Achievement
  • 2008: Kim Hadley - NC Volunteer of the Year, Britt and Leigh Stoudenmire - VA Volunteer of the Year, Eric Autenreith (PAN) - WV Volunteer of the Year, Concerned Citizens of Giles County (VA) Volunteer Group of the Year, NPCA - Erin Haddix St John - Advocacy Group of the Year, Steve Goss - Legislature of the Year, Nick Rahall - Legislature of the Year, Ed Adams - Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2007: New River Action Committee of Todd (NC), Rick Roth (VA), Charlotte Hanes (VA), Matt Wender - Plateau Action Network (WV), Fayette County Commissioners (WV)