Light of the Valley

Light of the Valley

Light of the Valley

Jim and Linda Bordas received the Light of the Valley Award this past Wednesday at the White Palace. Enthusiastic attendees came from all over the region and packed the room, testifying to the wonderful influence Jim and Linda have had on so many people in the Ohio Valley. But the real lesson came from the way Jim and Linda turned the occasion into another example of how their family came to be viewed so positively in the first place. Jim’s beautiful acceptance speech, which I hope will be available on this blog in some format for those who could not attend to hear, or at least read, stressed the other “lights” of the life he and Linda have shared. His invocation of Coach Nardone, Hines Rotriga, the late Sam Andy and many others who have given to the Ohio Valley illustrated the cascading good that is done when people dedicate their lives to the service of others. While many lament that some of West Virginia’s children do not make their lives here, Jim and Linda took special note of many young people “who came back” to become the leaders of today and tomorrow in Wheeling and beyond. The moral of the story was that the light of the valley doesn’t burn only from within a particular person. It comes when our positive influences shine light on us, and we work to reflect it back into the world a little stronger than before. Each of the lights Jim and Linda singled out serves as a kind of lens, that makes the Valley sunnier, as good people work together to promote justice, alleviate pain and comfort those who are afflicted. For 44 years Jim and Linda have collected that light, and sent it back out into our community clearer and brighter. It would be impossible to list in a speech or an essay, or even an encyclopedia, all the different people who have been touched by the Bordas family in this Valley and beyond. I’ve been fortunate to have gotten my first job out of school from Jim and Linda, and it’s been the only one I’ve ever needed. The kindness they have shown me and my family over the years would be overwhelming, were it not for the fact that I’ve seen them do it time and time again for their friends, their sons’ friends, employees, clients, and people who were, at one point, perfect strangers, but were lucky enough to find Jim and Linda in a time of need. No one could imitate the magnificent accomplishments and the lives that led up to Wednesday’s recognition for Jim and Linda. Their unique body of work cannot be duplicated. But we can follow their example, collecting the light that is all around us in the Ohio Valley, and shining it back on others who may need it. Thank you, Jim and Linda Bordas, for being Lights of the Valley. --Chris Regan