Community pays honor to Varia’s achievements

Ralph B. Davis rdavis@civitasmedia.com

April 30, 2014

MARTIN — Hundreds of people, including a large contingent of students from area schools and community leaders of all stripes, turned out Friday for a ceremony paying tribute to the recently deceased Dr. Mahendra Varia and to rechristen a mountain overlooking the Martin redevelopment site as “Varia Mountain.”

Speaker after speaker spoke fondly of the late veterinarian, praising him for his devotion to animals, education and his community through numerous philanthropic efforts.

What a wonderful life we are celebrating today,” said St. Joseph Martin CEO Kathy Stumbo. “And what a wonderful person.”

Floyd County Supt. Henry Webb pointed to the day’s activity as instructional and inspirational for the many students in the audience.

“When you think about what success really is, this is what success really looks like,” Webb said. “It is not about accumulating things, but about your impact on the community.”

Two banners were unfurled at the end of Friday’s ceremony, one proclaiming the Martin redevelopment site as “Varia Hill” and another proclaiming the mountain above as “Varia Mountain.”

Those attending Friday’s ceremony were treated to a bagged lunch afterwards.