PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Valerie Vick has been coaching softball for several years while juggling a full-time job, plus family duties as a mom and grandmother. News 3 showed up at one of her practices at Olive Branch Little League ball fields to surprise her with a People Taking Action award.
By the many of friends and family who just happened to show up along with News 3, it didn't take Valerie to know something was up. We explained to her that a fellow volunteer, Kim Crittenden sent us an email nominating Valerie.
"Besides being a great coach, she is also a great friend, mentor, and colleague. There isn't anything she wouldn't do for those she knows and loves," said Kim. "She works a full-time job and has a family of her own, yet she goes above and beyond to help both Olive Branch Little League and the girls she coaches."
Out on the field, you can see Valerie making the rounds, interacting one on one with the players, teaching and encouraging, but players like Amiya Hairston will tell you she does more than coaching.
"I always look at Val like my other mom; she's always there for me, always there for all of us," said Amiya. Amiya's mother, Jenicia Hairston, agrees.
"Just being there for the girls, to not just having to rely on your parents, which you know they always say, it takes a community raise a child," she said.
Kim adds in her nominating email, "She gives 100% to everything she does and asks for nothing in return. I'm nominating her because I can't think of anyone else right now that deserves it more. Without Valerie Vick, Olive Branch Little League just wouldn't be the same."
For those reasons News 3, presented a People Taking Action award to Valerie along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank. She was very thankful and at times fighting back tears at the recognition, explaining why giving back is so important to her.
"I grew up here in Olive Branch - nine years old, I found my passion in life right here on the diamond. We do a lot more than play softball. I mentor these young girls - give them what they need to be successful in life," Valerie said.