United Way of Randolph County President Dottie Wamsley and Executive Director Bonnie Phares released the results of its 2008 auction at the monthly board of directors meeting on Sept. 25. Receipts from the event, according to Wamsley and Phares, totaled $22,146.75, as compared with last year's proceeds of $19,479.11.
"We did very well considering the rising cost of living due to the increases in fuel," Phares said. "The generosity of the citizens in our community and their concern for those less fortunate than they was visible beyond question during the auction."
Fundraising Chairman Gary Clay voiced his concerns for this year's campaign saying, "I think this year's fundraising campaign will be tough because of the rising cost of living and a reduction in the number of employees at one of our major contributors."
He extended his hopes that contributors will do all they can to help meet this year's goal. "The agencies we support need our help more now than ever during these times of tight money and uncertainty."
UW officials extended their sincere appreciation to all the businesses, craftspeople, artists, volunteers and others who helped in so many ways.
"The list is unending, but certainly includes our three auctioneers Ron Phillips, Bill Johnson and Walt Helmick," Phares said. "We also thank the Elkins Rotary Club for the baebecue chicken and the food service and hospitality students of Davis & Elkins College for their participation and donations at the food concession. We also extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to the First United Methodist Church for granting our last-minute request to use their recreation facility because of the threat of inclement weather conditions."
After all these many years of being located on John Street, the United Way office will soon be located in the former Department of Health and Human Resources Building on Henry Avenue. Preparation of the new facilities is well under way and the move should be taking place in the near future, according to Phares.
Word from Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ellen Spears is that there will be no farmers market today. It will be back at the usual place and time on Oct. 11, 18, 25 and Nov. 2, which will be the last one for the season.
For those who enjoyed Katie and Joel Wolpert's sourdough breads and bagels, they will be doing what they call "Wolpertinger Breadshare" for the fall season. According to the Wolperts, here's how it will work, "Customers pay a flat rate up front to get a delivery of fresh bread every week for seven weeks. We will deliver warm bread, straight out of the oven to customers in Belington, Elkins and Thomas. We'll deliver the bread to one public location in each town and since you've already paid, you'll just have to remember to pick up your bread each week and savor the flavor. Two of the weeks will be bagels. Five weeks will feature different flavors of wood-fired sourdough bread. The optional eighth will feature our famous Joellen Strollen just in time for the holidays. Strollen is a slightly sweet Christmas bread made with dried fruit, nuts, candied citrus and a drizzle of icing."
More information is available online at www.randolphcountygotr.org/farm/, or vy calling 823-2960. The Wolperts may also be contacted by mail at 840 Beverly Pike, Belington, W.Va. 26250. A brochure with all the information is available at the market during regular hours.
In his last "info bulletin" to the chamber of commerce, Wolpert mentioned speaking to the vendors at the market about a means of getting farmers' products through the winter through a crop-sharing agreement. He encouraged those who might be interested in this program to talk with the vendors at the market.
You've been reading a lot in this column lately, especially the last two weeks, about the ongoing debate in the downtown merchants' circle regarding what to do in order to get more of the tourists coming into the downtown stores. Dennis Lively has a Web site called Elkins Live - www.elkinslive.com - which has a wealth of information regarding entertainment, shopping values and coupons, restaurants and many other subjects. Lively's interest in the merchants debate has prompted him to design a survey for merchants called "Elkins Downtown Merchants Association Internal Survey" that he hopes all merchants will take time to complete thereby getting a idea of how merchants feel about altering their hours of operation. I encourage every merchant to take a few minutes to complete the survey - by Monday evening if possible. This would give him some data to present at the next merchants meeting, which will be at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at Ceramics with Class. The Web address for the survey is http://netbizradio.com/survey/public/survey.php?name=dtma2.
Last week I received a news release regarding kerosene contaminated with gasoline. You may have already received information regarding the alert but here's what I have. According to the release originating in Harrisburg, Pa., Pittsburgh Terminals Corp. distributed kerosene from May 1 through Aug. 19 that may be contaminated with gasoline in Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, Northern West Virginia and Southwestern New York. The alert was issued on Aug. 29, which stated that some valves in their processing facility had intermittently malfunctioned allowing traces of gasoline to mix with kerosene creating a risk of fire, explosion and serious injury.
A recall has been issued for this fuel through the following distributors that may affect northern West Virginia: BFS Foods, 169 Fairchance Road, Morgantown, W.Va. 26508; Sheetz, 15744 St. Clair Ave., East Liverpool, Ohio 43920; and Valley Fuels Inc., Bull Run Road, Masontown, W.Va. 26542. These are but three of the 26 recall collection centers in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
The important issue here is, if you have any suspicion that you may have purchased contaminated kerosene, call the Pittsburgh Terminals Corporation toll-free at 1-800-692-6016 to return it or visit www.kerosenerecall.com for more information.
Fortunately, this doesn't seem to be too much of a threat in our local area, but the State Emergency Management Office in Charleston issued the alert to the northern part of the state hoping to get the word out to those who might have friends or relatives in the affected areas.
Once again, the Forest Festival has come to town. Already, I've heard several people say, and this is only the first weekend of events, that the festival is like Christmas: most everyone looks forward to it and at the same time glad that it only comes once a year. The inconveniences experienced in slow moving traffic, longer lines in stores and the extra caution necessary on the roadways, things do get a bit trying every now and then. But really, isn't it worth it? The event gives our community an economic shot-in-the-arm and besides what's more fun than seeing a teenager singing his or heart out in a talent contest, or the expression of disbelief on a kindergarten child's face that he or she is actually looking at a real-life queen, or watching the fascinating performance of Toronto's Winged Wheels. I marvel at how straight they ride those machines at such a slow speed. Enjoy the weekend everyone.