Spirit of the Mountains


The YLA Spirit of the Mountains Reception and Lewis N. McManus YLA Service Award Presentation is held annually in Charleston, WV.


The Lewis N. McManus YLA Service Award is presented to a person whose life reflects the values of YLA that Lew held so dear throughout his own life ~ helping others, hard work, responsible citizenship and building better futures for all, especially youth.

For more information about the Spirit of the Mountains Program, download this Information sheet.

Past honorees include:
2004 Jessica Lynch
2005 Cecil Underwood
2006 Ed Maier
2007 David and Susan Hardesty
2008 John D. Rockefeller IV
2009 Bill Raney
2010 Gayle C. Manchin
2011 James H. “Buck” Harless
2012 David King
2013 Gaston Caperton
2014 Sylvia Mathews Burwell
2015 James Hoyer
2016 Governor Earl Ray & First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin
2017 Brad D. Smith and Alys Smith
2018 Dr. E. Gordon Gee