ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) — Jim Watson, a Food City truck driver from Abingdon, is being recognized as this year’s Food City Claude P. Varney Humanitarian recipient.

A release from Food City said this annual award aims to formally recognize company associates that volunteer their time to regional civic organizations.

Food City team (pictured L to R): Greg Sparks, Senior Vice President & COO; Eric Hearl, Transportation Manager; Cade Watson, Merchandising Reclaim Supervisor; Jim Watson, Truck Driver; Steve Smith, President/CEO; Sherrell Lyon, Vice President of Human Resources; Buddy Honaker, Director of Distribution

Watson is a truck driver for a Food City Distribution Center in Abingdon, where he lives. The release said Watson has served in this position for 30 years.

“Many of our associates volunteer their time and talents in service of civic organizations throughout the region and we’re proud to formally recognize their efforts,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.

Watson has reportedly been an active volunteer with St. Jude Children’s Hospital ever since his son Cade was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2010 at the age of 10. Watson and his family lived in Memphis for nine months while Cade received treatment, without paying a single bill for treatment, housing, travel or food, according to the release.

This inspired Watson to rally his family, friends and colleagues to assist with fundraising efforts for St. Jude, all while raising awareness of childhood cancer and the hospital’s efforts to end the illness, the release said.

Watson’s fundraising work reportedly raised more than $760,000 to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital over the past 12 years, according to the release.

“I am very grateful for winning this award, but to me this is about the kids of St. Jude and this award is for them,” said Watson.

One associate is nominated at each store to be considered for the Claude P. Varney Humanitarian Award. It’s then narrowed down to 13 district winners, followed by two divisional winners and finally, an ultimate winner is chosen, according to the release.

Winners are chosen by an independent panel of judges based on outstanding achievements in the areas of health, education, environment, cultural arts, recreation, heritage/history and public service, the release said.

The award is named after former Food City President and vice-chairman of 47 years Claude P. Varney, who was known in his community for volunteerism and “tremendous compassion”, the release said.