Hometown Hero | Velva Marcum
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - For nearly 35 years, one woman has dedicated her time to the students at Prichard Elementary as a foster grandmother.
Prichard Elementary Principal Kelly Bonar said 99-year-old Velva Marcum is the longest-running active foster grandmother in the entire country.
Granny is a perfect prime example of somebody who represents what a hometown hero is,” she said. “Somebody who comes in and pours her life retired life into the students.”
Foster grandparents volunteer their time across West Virginia, but for Marcum, it’s become a family business.
Her daughter, Lahoma Ailiff, volunteers at Prichard Elementary as well and wasn’t expecting her mom to be named a Hometown Hero.
“I thought we were having some cupcakes, and that was special,” she said. “Then I come in and see all this. No one deserves it more.”
Marcum said every part of the celebration was a new surprise, but more than anything, it’s the dozens of handwritten cards from students she appreciates the most.
“That really surprised me to be noticed that much,” she said. “I appreciate it so much.”
While she didn’t have time to read all the cards during the celebration, there’s a similar theme.
“Just know that I love you, and I love you a lot,” Marcum read from one of the cards.
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