The evening of October 12th, 2023, was nothing short of extraordinary as the Martinsburg community came together to celebrate the incredible dedication of individuals and groups who have selflessly given their time, passion, and resources to uplift the lives of others. The 2023 Charity in Action Awards, held at the Priest Field Pastoral Center, was a heartwarming event that recognized the profound impact of community service. This year, the spotlight shone on Ed Wilson, a Berkeley County resident, whose unwavering commitment to service has left an indelible mark on the Martinsburg area.
The Charity in Action Award is a symbol of the remarkable spirit of community service that resides in the hearts of local heroes. It serves as a tribute to those who have ignited positive change and fostered a sense of unity in Martinsburg, spreading their goodwill far and wide.
The event brought together over 100 people, each one passionate about giving back to the community. Among the highlights of the evening was an inspirational story from Paulette Keene, one of Catholic Charities West Virginia’s case management clients, who shared her journey and the impact of Catholic Charities West Virginia (CCWVa) in her life.
The highlight of the evening was the recognition of Ed Wilson, a cherished resident of Berkeley County for 26 years, as the deserving recipient of this year’s Charity in Action Award. Ed’s journey to Martinsburg stands as a testament to a lifetime of dedication and a profound desire to make the world a better place, alongside his wife, Midge. Originally from New Jersey and upstate New York, their journey began in Rome, where they contributed their voices to the choir of the church of Santa Susanna, the American Titular Church. Ed’s remarkable 24-year service abroad took him to nine U.S. Embassy facilities in eight countries. Notably, he extended his dedication to raising funds for Fatima School in Islamabad, Pakistan, the first Catholic School in the capital, leaving a lasting impact on the community.
Since settling in West Virginia, Ed has continued to be a driving force for positive change. He actively serves on the boards of several organizations, including the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle, Martinsburg/Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce, Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival, and Berkeley Senior Services. He has also played a vital role on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Eastern Panhandle. His unwavering commitment to community service is exemplified through active involvement in the St. Joseph Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Parish Council at St. Joseph Parish, and the Regional Advisory Council of the Eastern Region of Catholic Charities. Ed even leads the West Virginia chapter of the Central Intelligence Retirees Association.
Ed’s dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed; he has been recognized as Citizen of the Year by the Shenandoah Council of Boy Scouts and received the Governor’s Award for Community Service from Governor Joe Manchin. His contributions have touched the lives of many, making him a true beacon of community service.
We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Ed Wilson, a well-deserving recipient of this year’s Charity in Action Award. Your commitment to making a positive impact on the Martinsburg community is an inspiration to us all. We also celebrated the remarkable journey of our cherished client, Miss Paulette Keene, whose resilience and success in our Case Management program are a testament to the positive change that can be achieved through community support and dedication.
We also express our deep gratitude to our generous donors and sponsors whose unwavering support made this year’s event a reality. A special thank you goes to our friends at St. James Catholic Church, whose partnership and assistance in hosting this year’s event were invaluable.
In unity of spirit and mission of charity, we’ve collectively transformed lives for the better. The 2023 Charity in Action Awards highlighted the power of community service and the incredible individuals like Ed Wilson who make it all possible. Thank you to all who continue to inspire and uplift our community.
To learn more about Catholic Charities West Virginia, please visit www.CatholicCharitiesWV.org.