Coal Tattoo

Photo by Travis Dove/ Copyright Civic Ventures

Raleigh County native Bo Webb has been named among the winners of The Purpose Prize, giving him $50,000 for his w0rk fighting against mountaintop removal coal mining and to improve the lives of kids who attend Marsh Fork Elementary School.

The organization Civic Ventures is announcing today that Webb is among the 2010 winners of the prize, given to entrepreneurs over the age of 60 who are using their experience and passion “to make an extraordinary impact on society’s biggest challenges.” In a news release, the organization described Bo this way:

A former owner of a tool-and-die shop who returned to his native West Virginia for a peaceful retirement, only to find himself fighting a coal industry engaged in the destructive, disruptive practice of mountaintop removal.

Bo was recently profiled by the L.A. Times, and he has spoken in his own words about mountaintop removal many times, most notably in open letters to various government officials and leaders, including Al Gore, President Obama and the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

Among other accomplishments, Civic Ventures noted Bo’s huge role in obtaining funding to build a new Marsh Fork Elementary away from Massey’s operations at Sundial and his work to bring leading activists, scientists and others to West Virginia to speak out and protest against mountaintop removal.

We’ll have more on this in tomorrow’s Charleston Gazette … but if you’re wondering what Bo is going to do with the prize, here’s what he told me last week:

I’ve never been paid for the work I do and have never desired any, spent my own money except where [Coal River Mountain Watch] paid for travel. The Purpose Prize will help me continue my mission to end MTR.

I work at this, Ken, because it is such an injustice …