At the McDowell County Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet on Thursday, the co-founders of the McDowell Quilt Trail Mike and Jill Lucas were awarded the 2016 Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award.

The award is a tribute to individuals or groups who make a difference in their communities or places of work by using their time, talents and compassion to positively impact the lives of others. Recipients of the award help foster a culture of citizenship and service that acts as a catalyst for others to become involved in civic and social activities. The award is designed to recognize outstanding volunteer service and civic participation over a sustainable 12 month period.

And, the McDowell County Quilt Trail has done just that. Integrity, stewardship, inclusion, teamwork, accountability and initiative are just a few of the values considered the prestigious award.

Robin Nicholson of Duke Energy presented the couple with the award, but not before sharing the accomplishments of the Quilt Trail in McDowell County.

“For the past eight years, this all-volunteer effort has produced over 230 quilt blocks, which has brought countless visitors to McDowell County as well as generating funds for the McDowell Arts Council Association, and support of the local economy through the purchase of materials for the construction of the blocks,” she said. “

Earlier this year, the leaders of the Quilt Trail announced they will cease their operations at the end of March because they feel as if they have completed their goals, Nicholson said at the banquet.

The Lucas’s were given a beautiful, glass award as well as a standing ovation from the audience.

To find out more about the McDowell County Quilt Trail, visit

The Chamber also gave plaques to Rachel Withrow of Crooked Door Coffee House for “Ambassador of the Year,” and a plaque went to the outgoing Chamber President Amy Stroud.