Nomination deadline extended to July 1 for Miners’ Celebration ‘Because of You’ awards

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The deadline to submit nominations for awards to honor those who contribute to the state’s coal mining enterprise has been extended to July 1 .

Miners' Celebration logo“Because of You” awards in more than a dozen categories will be presented as part of the 2012 Miners’ Celebration to be held Oct. 4-5 at Tamarack in Beckley.

According to conference organizers, representatives of the state’s mining industry will gather at the event to recognize miners, engineers, safety and environmental professionals, community leaders, manufacturers, suppliers and educators for their contributions to the mining industry in West Virginia.

“West Virginia’s mining industry depends upon thousands of individuals in many different roles,” said Dr. Tony Szwilski, chairman of the conference planning committee and director of Marshall University’s Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences. “Every one of these people—whether they are miners, safety engineers, environmental professionals, equipment suppliers, community leaders or teachers—contributes to each ton of coal produced.

“It is because of them the mining industry is successful. This event is intended to honor and recognize the contributions of everyone involved in what we call our state’s mining ‘ecosystem.’”

Szwilski said the program will kick off with registration and a reception at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4. At the reception, the Coal Heritage Highway Authority/National Coal Heritage Area will present several awards including the Nick Joe Rahall Award for Outstanding Achievements in Coal Heritage Preservation, the Coal Heritage Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Coal Heritage Marketing Award and the Coal Heritage Research and Documentation Award.

On Friday, Oct. 5, the program will continue with the “Because of You” awards and a full day of presentations focusing on all aspects of the mining industry.

The Miners’ Celebration is a cooperative project of the Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences at Marshall University; the National Coal Heritage Area; United Mine Workers of America; the West Virginia Coal Association; and the West Virginia Division of Energy, Office of Coalfield Community Development.

The cost of the conference is $100. Registration is open through Sept. 21.

To nominate someone for the “Because of You” awards or to register for the conference, visit

Contact:  Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304.746.1964