Boos & Applause

Applause to the grand opening of the Homestead Community Center last weekend. The building’s rich history was on display during the event. The Tygart Valley Homestead was built in the 1930s during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and more than 190 houses were built for community members. The purpose of this Homestead was to rehabilitate impoverished families and provide housing, land and education for communities to thrive on. The Homestead school has been part of the community since its construction in 1939. The school finally closed to students after a storm in 2017 that left repairs too expensive to consider. The Tygart Valley Homestead Association assumed ownership of the historic school building in 2018. Upgrades that have been successfully completed include boiler repair and the replacement of the storm-damaged roof over the gym and cafeteria. The new roof was the result of a grant awarded to the association from the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia.

Applause to Elkins Make It Shine official Melodee Price, who has taken it upon herself in recent years to restore the town’s luster. Two years ago, Price commissioned Morgan Nucilli to paint the first mural on the wall in the Third Ward turn of Harrison Avenue, originally a painting of West Virginia. Since then, the mural has been changed to say “Welcome to Elkins.” Price has also organized the painting of more murals on the wall, including recent paintings by Tiffany Kiess and Tessa Garber-Daniels.

Applause to an organization which features bikers who work to protect children that is spreading their message of hope across the Mountain State. The international organization Bikers Against Child Abuse made a trip to Elkins this week to promote their organization. The North Central West Virginia chapter of BACA, an organization that spans 17 countries, which began in 1995. BACA aims to empower children who have been victims of abuse. BACA members took part in the National Kids Day Out event at the Phil Gainer Community Center in Elkins on Aug. 17. BACA has maintained an established nonprofit status since the organization was founded almost 25 years ago.

Applause to Bessie Pennington, a lifelong resident of West Virginia, who turned 100 years old this week. She says her secret to getting to this age has been drinking lots of milk. Pennington’s birthday party took place at Cortland Acres in Thomas and some of her family was able to come visit, including her only son, Rick Pennington, and granddaughter, Rachel Pennington. She also has three daughters. Bessie Pennington grew up on a farm and her main chore was milking the cows and helping her mother make butter, which gave her quite a grip, she said.

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