The Paden City High School Alumni Association honored Brian Feldmeier as their Distinguished Alumni during a special ceremony July 6.
Originally selected as the Distinguished Alumni for their 2012 festivities, the weekend activities were truncated because of damage and power outage from the derecho storm. So the group decided to keep the same distinguished alumni selection. "We wanted to make sure Brian go his just due," said Rodney McWilliams at the ceremony.
A 1985 PCHS graduate, Feldmeier was a high school friend of 1984 graduate McWilliams. So during his introduction, McWilliams shared a few humorous stories of their high school years.
Brian Feldmeier, left receives the Paden City High School Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni from Rodney McWilliams during a special ceremony July 6.
But when it was time to get serious, McWilliams had nothing but praise for his schoolmate. He said that morning he was reading Psalm 127: Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain."
McWilliams said, "I thought, 'That's Brian.'" He added that he had no doubt that God will be fulfilling his plan through him.
"He's an inspiration to me and I'm sure he'll be an inspiration to many others," finished McWilliams.
For several years, Feldmeier and his band of miracle workers have trekked to Honduras to provide essential living components to people who seem economically parched yet spiritually flooded. In addition to owning and operating a successful florist and gift shop, special events planning business, being part-owner of another successful bistro, providing leadership to the New Martinsville Rotary by servicing as its president, and sitting on the Boards of directors of several other organizations in the area, Feldmeier organizes and leads a team on an annual mission trip to Honduras to provide the people there with food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities of life.
Feldmeier humbly accepted the award, often choked by tears as he talked of his humanitarian efforts and the people he has affected.
"The eyes that I have looked into and the hands that I have held have taught me more than I can imagine," he said.
In particular, Feldmeier talked about a Honduran boy he met when he got off the bus on his first mission trip. He has kept in contact with him and finds inspiration in that relationship. "My family and I are making a difference in his life by giving him an opportunity to thrive, but he is giving us more by giving us an opportunity to thrive in different ways and teaching us the true meaning of compassion and living."
He was met with a standing ovation.
He thanked those in attendance and those who influenced his life. "I accept this award with humility in your honor," said Feldmeier.
In his acceptance speech, Feldmeier talked of how he and a group of volunteers from St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church and the New Martinsville United Methodist Church will be traveling to Moore, Okla., on Aug. 1 to provide relief to the people devastated by recent tornadoes. The volunteers are asking for the community's help in achieving this goal with the materials listed above, or with a monetary donation. Any donation would be greatly appreciated. Donations can be dropped off at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church or the United Methodist Church.