Hometown Hero | Mike Dunlap

We honor Mike Dunlap as our latest Hometown Hero for his efforts helping victims of the Regal Apartments fire in Charleston.
Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 9:49 PM EST
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RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The Regal Apartment fire in Charleston inspired countless people across West Virginia to give back, including this week’s Hometown Hero Mike Dunlap.

Friends and family waited patiently to surprise Mike, an award they said he’s earned after years of supporting the community.

“Very proud, he deserves it,” his mother Connie Dunlap said.

WSAZ first introduced everyone to Mike when he was gathering supplies to donate to the Charleston Regal Apartment victims near the start of February.

“West Virginians help West Virginians,” Mike said Feb. 4. “That’s the way it’s always been.”

Mike organized everything and gathered an entire box truck of supplies, as well as $1,000 of donations to be taken to Mountain Mission.

Mike has done this before,” Connie said. “When there was a flood in Logan a few years ago. He took a box load of stuff over there to Heal Chiropractic in Madison.”

Those who came to surprise Mike said he’s always been a giving person but the last six years have been tough.

Joan Dunlap, his wife, said Mike has been fighting a host of medical problems.

“A stroke and 2018 and his sugar had dropped down to the 30s,” she said. “It almost killed him. And then we found out he lost his kidneys and had to go on dialysis, and that’s close to three years now.

Mike goes to dialysis three times a week for more than four hours a day.

Joan says the dialysis has been draining but all they can do is wait for a kidney to become available.

Even so, Mike always does what he can to help those around himself” Joan said. “May have to rest a little bit beforehand, but he’s still very giving.”

Once Mike received his Hometown Hero award, he said he’s thankful he has so many people who support and love him.

I’ve been honored many times in many ways, but nothing will mean more as this does,” Mike said.