Board members and officers will assume their posts on Jan. 1. The coming year’s officers are the same as last year’s, including Sheila Johnson, president; Mike Kerns, vice president; Terry Casseday, treasurer; and Sara Daniels, secretary. Those newly appointed to the board of directors are Randy Elza, Zack Teter, Mike Cardinal and Leslie Teter.
The foundation was chartered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization on April 1, 1996, after more than a year of planning by community members and 4-H Club leaders. The group was concerned with the future financial stability of the organization when financial assistance from state and county sources was reduced. In order to ensure the organization for perpetuity, an endowment was established. Unless designated for a specific purpose by the donor, 30 percent of all income is deposited into the account and only the interest may be used for programs that the foundation supports.
The organization donates funds for starting new clubs, day camp, summer camp classes and funds the “I Dare You” award program. In addition, it offers a $1,000 per year, four-year scholarship to an outstanding Randolph County high school student who has demonstrated exemplary service to, and participation in, 4-H Club activities, and maintains high scholastic standards.
Like all volunteer organizations, the 4-H Foundation is looking for volunteers. Activities include attending the organization’s quarterly meetings and other 4-H sponsored activities. The only requirement for membership is a $10 annual membership fee. For $20, the entire family can be members, and $150 will purchase an individual lifetime membership. For more information, call the West Virginia University Extension office at 636-2455.
Rotary Club of Elkins members were entertained at their luncheon on Nov. 5 by the Davis & Elkins College Choir under the direction of Elizabeth Marshall. The group sang a selection of lovely melodies, the titles of which I could not pronounce or understand, but their singing was great. Who said one has to understand what is being sung, or be able to read and pronounce the title of the song to enjoy the music?
The Rotary Club of Elkins is actively recruiting new members. If you are one who enjoys serving the community through charitable fundraising and donating, like making new and interesting friends, enjoy socializing in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere with interesting people, Rotary is for you.
I would like to hear from our friends in the valley’s Lions Clubs. There is a lot of good work being done by those organizations that people would like to hear about, I’m sure. I would be glad to help the clubs “get their word out,” too. All you have to do is give me a call at 636-6723, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I won’t promise I can get everything you do in print, but I’ll help all I can.
For all you folks who have bought toys for your children recently, it’s a good idea to go to www.recalledtoyalert.com and check to see if any of the toys you have purchased recently are on the list. A quick review of this Web site indicates that the vast majority of the recalled toys manufactured in China have been, or are being, recalled because of excessive lead paint.
Many vendors of these toys, including Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Target and others are being sued by parents for having allowed these toys to be permitted on the market. American manufacturers of toys have to meet stringent quality control standards that ensure safety. Parents nationwide are taking exception to the lax standards by which these unsafe toys from China and other Asian nations were imported and allowed to penetrate the market without having first passed the same stringent standards.
With the Christmas season upon us, it behooves every parent who purchases toys to be especially alert as to where the toys were made and whether they meet U.S. safety standards. Many importers are now looking to Europe and other places for toys.
The Marine Corps League, again this year as usual, is working hard to collect toys for their Toys for Tots program. They have also added some special features to their program this year. If you would like to donate new, unopened toys for distribution to those less fortunate, the league personnel running the programs would love to hear from you at 637-2212 or 636-4365.
Mike McRae was at the Downtown Merchants’ meeting Tuesday and gave a synopsis of this year’s program. It’s a great program and brings incalculable joy to youngsters who would otherwise have a bleak and joyless Christmas holiday.
A couple from Tucker County, Richard and Kellie Wolford, were also present at the merchants’ meeting. They custom make pens from acrylics, corncobs, polyester, deer antlers and many types of imported exotic woods. While some of the materials from which they make these pens may not sound too attractive, the pens they had on display, including the ones made from corncobs and deer antlers, are beautiful. For more information, call the Wolfords at 478-4494.
Next Friday at 6:30 p.m., the Christmas parade in Elkins will get under way. Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ellen Spears and her planning committees are working hard to make it a success. Santa Claus has even assured her that he will be on hand to greet the children and take their wish lists after the parade.
Spears has also had several booths constructed by YouthBuild for vendors who have Christmassy handcrafted and gourmet food items for sale. The idea is to bring a touch of “Old World,” or European, flavor to the evening after the parade.
Jennifer Giovannitti, executive director of the Randolph County Development Authority, said of last year’s vendors, “While sales may not have been up to expectations during the evening, many of last year’s participants said that the exposure brought an abundance of after-the-event- sales. People are looking for Christmas gift items, and while they may be uncertain of what they want to purchase at the moment, knowing what the vendors have on hand led to many, many sales closer to Christmas.”
The Christmas market will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Those wishing to secure a booth should call the chamber office at 636-2717 for more information.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, I’ll bet every one of you noticed an increase in the cost of your dinner. I though it rude and “distasteful” to mention it before the big meal, but according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, U.S. consumers paid 11 percent more for the traditional Thanksgiving meal this year due in part to higher energy costs. Now doesn’t that bring on another case of after-dinner indigestion? All in all, we do have a lot to be thankful for in many ways, not the least of which is that our economy is — so far at least — withstanding the higher energy costs. One can’t help but wonder, though, how long it will be before inflation, like after-dinner indigestion, sets in.