WELLSBURG – For outstanding service and community involvement, Chambers and James Funeral, Pet and Cremation Services was awarded the 2021 Pursuit of Excellence Award from the National Funeral Directors Association.
This is the eighth consecutive year that the Wellsburg and Follansbee-based funeral company has received this honor, which NFDA executives say is bestowed on its competence in six key areas. These are: Compliance with state and federal regulations; participation of staff in continuing education and professional development; provide exceptional programs and resources for bereaved families; maintain an active level of community participation; active participation and service to the funeral profession; and promoting funeral home services through marketing, advertising and public relations.
Applicants are required to adhere to a commitment to ethical practices.
Chambers and James is one of 539 funeral homes and the only one in West Virginia to receive the award, which includes 18,500 members representing nearly 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 43 other countries.
Fithyan said to be considered for the award, funeral homes were required to submit a detailed application form that included a report on a recent community project.
He said Chambers and James’s report concerned the placement of 22 seasonal banners in the downtown Wellsburg business district.
In an effort to beautify this region, Fithyan solicited sponsorships from local businesses and groups to alternate colorful banners that mark the seasons and special occasions.
For example, banners for summer reading, “Our community is heating up” while others have flown over Veterans Day say “Thank you for your service.”
Fithyan was helped by staff and volunteers to display them along Town Square and Charles Street.
This is one of a variety of community projects that Fithyan and his staff have undertaken over the years. Others have included organizing a retreat service under the American flag with the help of veterans groups and collecting sweaters and other items for veterans in nursing homes.
Fithyan said many award winners have noted the ways they have coped with the challenges presented by the pandemic, such as the live broadcast of funeral services for family and friends who cannot be present in person.
He said while the practice was aimed at the elderly and other at-risk family members concerned about exposure to COVID-19, it welcomed people unable to travel for a service, including family members. in the army.
Jessica Koth, Director of Public Relations for the NFDA, said: “As the pandemic continues to impact our country, funeral homes are finding extraordinary ways to cope with the present moment and provide meaningful support to grieving families and communities. The Pursuit of Excellence Working Group was very impressed with this year’s nominations and congratulates all of our recipients for their hard work and dedication during these difficult times.
(Scott can be contacted at [email protected])