Carver and Mullins accept community service awards


When it comes to Portsmouth, volunteers and people going above and beyond make many of the elements that community members adore about the city possible. Religious services, Winterfest, Chocolate Walk, Greenlawn’s Story of Us, concerts, plays, and more—all made possible thanks to massive nonprofit networks and volunteers.

Every year, Dr. James Spinatti, President of Sonshine School of Evangelism, makes it his mission to feature two major movers and shakers in the community at his annual Christmas Gift to Portsmouth event. This year, he selected Larry Mullins and Lisa Carver.

The Scioto County tradition continued this year with the 29th Annual Our Christmas Gift to Portsmouth. The concert is a free event organized by Dr. Spinnati, featuring the talents of many performers for a night of music and merriment.

The musical talents included Steve Foster, pianist; Portsmouth West High School Choir, Director Linda Tieman; Jim Evans; Art Bush, Jeff Bush, and Tracy Tooley; Bryan Goins and River Road; and Gary Everett. The master of ceremonies was Danny Bentley.

Assisting in presenting the awards included radio personality and WNXT manager Steve Hayes.

Hayes claimed that he was happy with the recipients this year and believes they are people who work hard for the sake of good.

“We have always tried to find to people who are relevant as far as giving back to the community. It is always hard to find heroes, because heroes tend to do the hard work and then go back to their real self,” Hayes said. “We also try to find people who do a lot of good things and fly under the radar and may not get a lot of recognition.”

Carver is the Executive Director of the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce.

“It was such an honor,” Carver said. “I am very fortunate enough to have a job that appreciates and allows me to do community service. To be recognized for that is just an honor.”

Carver has been with the Chamber for 32 years and she says that she can’t imagine doing anything else. Outside of the Chamber, Carver assists with many groups. Some of them include the Portsmouth Wind Symphony, where she is secretary and has served for eight years; she is also very involved with the Daughters of the American Revolution Joseph Spencer Chapter, where she is treasurer, and has been involved for 12 years; and Southern Ohio Medical Center.

“I started volunteering when I was around 12 years old,” Carver said. “When I lived in Akron, a friend and I volunteered at a local nursing home. We weren’t old enough to be candy stripers, so we did this instead. Volunteering is just something I always felt to be very important.”

Mullins is the Scioto Emergency Management Director and also works for WNXT.

“Larry does a lot in the community and cares a lot. I was honored for Larry as well and he is a good person to be alongside,” Carver explained.

Mullins has volunteered as a firefighter and EMT. He belongs to Kiwanis and volunteers throughout the year with them. He also serves on the Elder Abuse committee for Job and Family Services, is a member of the Scioto Scenic Heritage Trail, and works with amateur radio.

“Our community has so many people who do so many great things throughout the area for our community and I thought they were setting me up for a prank,” Mullins joked.

Mullins said that he sees a lot of people moving and shaking to make good things happen and is honored to be a recipient of the award.

“I was really surprised and honored and humbled by it, because I am the kind of person who works more behind the scenes,” Mullins said. “I think it is rare that I get out and take that spotlight and I think Lisa Carver had that same feeling. We’re kind of the people behind the curtain making sure everything goes as it should. The list of people who have won it in the past really help make Portsmouth a better place. I was born and raised here. I know we have our bad, but I just love the area and the people are the best asset we have. A lot of people work to make this place better and I am just honored to be considered among them.”

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

No posts to display