Thomas Suthard nearly turned down one of the highest honors earlier this month. Yet his closest friends and family members could understand his modest behavior. But this was one way they wanted to pay him back.
Suthard wasn’t making news this year hitting any home runs, catching touchdown passes or dunking any basketballs, but instead he scored on another note. As a result of his inspiring work with in the community, primarily with the youth, Suthard has been recognized for his efforts.
In the past two weeks, the public has learned that Suthard was named to Boomer Magazine’s 2012 The It List—a list known for the most interesting, influential and inspiring people in a single calendar year.
Suthard said he received the news when WTVR’s news anchor Cheryl Miller contacted him.
“I had never heard of it. She explained to me what it was and I was very, very surprised,” said Suthard.
The award winner said he questioned why he was still nominated.
“I’m not someone to blow my horn, but I was very moved by it,” Suthard said. “People have called me celebrity now and I just grin at them.”
From the phone to social networks, Suthard has been congratulated from many people including his former softball players, classmates, friends and family members.
In the community he has served as a coach for the Northern Neck Rage and Richmond County Little League organizations, a bass player for two contemporary Christian bands and owner of Bayside Water Treatment.
Suthard said even with all the publicity he has received and compliments, he credits the people and children around him.
“Their hard work is what makes me look good,” Suthard said. “The coaching part is just as much as my wife, other coaches and parents that’s why I’m so humbled by this award.”
In addition to this award, Suthard recently celebrated his 26th anniversary with his wife Terrie. The graduate of Washington & Lee High School will join eight individuals from around Virginia as members of magazine celebrate its second year of honoring individuals from around the Commonwealth during a special ceremony next month.
Sara Caudle, a Northern Neck Rage alumni member, said she turned to him when she began to struggle hitting in softball. Eventually her relationship with him began to change as she noticed positive changes in her game.
“He has this gift about him that helps me and others…he not only made me a better athlete, but a better person too,” said Caudle.
Caudle soon went on to play softball at Randolph-Macon College. But during breaks would still come back and be coached by Suthard. The former product of Suthard said she was thrilled for him when he was recognized.
“He deserves this award more than anyone I’ve ever met before,” Caudle said, adding that he made a lot of family and personal sacrifices to help her.
“The amount of time that he puts into people makes them a better person,” Caudle added. “I couldn’t have been happier for him.”