March 1, 2017

The Jack Dalton Community Service Award annually goes to the Henry County resident who best demonstrates the exemplary community service that marked Dalton’s years of public service. Dalton served as a member of the Henry County Board of Supervisors for more than 24 years, and was serving as the Board Chairman at the time of his death on May 24, 2000.

This year’s recipient has played an integral part in making our community a better place to live, work, and play.  For many years, this individual has been a huge enthusiasts of mountain biking and over the past several years, he has worked tirelessly to create a first-class venue so that others can enjoy and share in his love for mountain biking.  Mr. Bob Norris of Horsepasture has used his own land of approximately 150 acres to create over eight miles of dirt trails through the woods in Horsepasture and he has plans to develop about 15 miles of trails altogether. 

Mr. Norris has mobilized many volunteers to perform manual and grueling work in creating the trails and he has lead the effort himself, committing thousands of hours of time performing this hard and grueling work – never afraid to work hard and never afraid to get dirty.  When you speak of service – Mr. Norris has PERFORMED the service, not just talked about it.

As a result of his hard work, Mountain Laurel Trails has been designated at the “Best Mountain Bike Trail in Virginia” and has ranked 32nd as the “Best Mountain Bike Trails in the WORLD.”  Because of his effort, Henry County has received world-wide recognition and tourists from all round the globe are coming to Horsepasture, Virginia to mountain bike.  This has helped increase local tourism and boost sales at local businesses and lodging facilities.

In addition, Mr. Norris has served admirably in several other civic capacities in our community.  Most notably, Mr. Norris plays the bagpipes and often provides a wonder rendition of Amazing Grace on the bagpipes at the graveside of deceased veterans and public safety personnel.  

This year’s recipient exemplifies the characteristic of selfless community service that makes the perfect candidate for the Jack Dalton award.