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Randolph County 4-H Foundation Needs Help

November 3, 2007
By WAYNE SHEETS, Contributing Business Writer
Back in 1995 and 1996 when the Randolph County 4-H Foundation was being formed, there was no lack of enthusiasm or shortage of volunteers in helping get it “up and running.” How things have changed.

The foundation’s annual general membership meeting was on Oct. 18 at the courthouse annex and only seven people showed up. This was a disheartening experience after Foundation President Sheila Johnson had gone to great lengths to post the meeting and secure the annex to ensure adequate room for an expected crowd of many more.

In order to keep the organization functioning, a minimum of 13 members are required for a forum. Obviously, nothing was accomplished. The meeting has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 15 at the West Virginia University Extension Office on Kerens Avenue.

Shrinking funds from state and federal sources in the mid-1990s threatened a reduction in 4-H programs and staff at the extension office and, consequently, the effectiveness of the whole program. In order to ensure the continued health of the program in Randolph County, many 4-H-minded folks got together with youth and began fundraising events to establish an endowment to provide some relief for their stressed budget. Fundraising and gifts have combined to provide the foundation with an endowment that now provides money for several projects that they would not otherwise enjoy. One of those is a $1,000 scholarship that is given to a studnet over a four-year period. The scholarship is awarded to an outstanding 4-H member each year and goes toward the completion of his or her college education. This is just one example of the many projects and programs the foundation helps to fund.

But despite its successes, the foundation needs help — in the form of adult volunteers and leaders. It goes without saying that those parents who have children in the various 4-H programs spend countless hours helping them with their projects and supporting the program in many ways. However, if the turnout at the annual membership meeting is any indication, it is apparent that interest beyond the family unit has waned significantly. We need to recoup the enthusiasm and volunteerism that we had when the foundation was first organized.

Membership in the foundation is open to every citizen in Randolph County regardless of race, creed, religion or national origin. In other words, we don’t care what you look like, where you come from, whether you have children in 4-H or not, or how rich or poor you are, come join us in our efforts to help the youth in Randolph County.

Information regarding 4-H programs in Randolph County and the 4-H Foundation may be obtained by calling the WVU Extension Office at 636-2455.

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By the financial success of Google, it is obvious that the company is probably the best search engine on the Internet. I think, though, as does a huge segment of our population, that they have taken the availability of personal information a step too far.

As some of you may have seen in the past couple of weeks, all you have to do to locate any person with a telephone number is enter that number in the search bar and, unless it is unlisted or hasn’t been entered into the data base yet, the person’s name will appear, along with a map showing the physical location of the number.

There are some cases where this could be a tremendous advantage such as if there were a problem in a home and a very young child was trying to get emergency help from 911. The down side of this service, however, is all too obvious and, I think, outweighs any advantages. With all the incidents we hear about today involving sexual predators using the Internet as a venue for accomplishing their devious and twisted acts, this would seem to make things much easier for them.

I tried the search and it works. I entered my home number and the home and work number of several of my family and friends. It worked for all but one.

You can prevent your information from being accessible, though. All you have to do is enter your number in the Google search bar and when the information comes up, there will be an option available that will ask if you want to “opt out” of the service. According to the information I saw, it takes about 48 hours for your “opt-out” to become effective. The other option is to go to an unlisted number.

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As usual, the Downtown Merchants meeting on Oct. 23 was interesting and enjoyable. They always have 1,001 things to discuss. To start things off, Ed Griesel announced that there have been 14,320 documented visitors through the depot Welcome Center since May 1. He said he knows that there have been many more who weren’t counted.

He also introduced the latest addition to the volunteer staff, Teresa Goddard, who is a member of AmeriCorps and helps out at with the Welcome Center when she can. Griesel said her services would allow the center to be open an additional day each week.

Angela Errett, owner of Angelic Designs in Buckhannon, gave a very interesting presentation regarding her custom printing design work known as Angelic Designs. She doesn’t do her own printing; she does the design work and then finds a printer that can do the quality printing at the most reasonable cost. From her presentation, it is certain that her design work is limited only by the imagination of the customer. For more information, call Angela at 472-0057, or visit her Web site www.angelicdesigns.com.

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Volunteers are needed to help with the Christmas Parade on Nov. 30. Some tasks include getting the parade units parked at the proper places, assembling and disassembling traffic barricades, crowd control, manning the depot where the children will be visited by Santa Claus and many other details. If you would like to help or want to participate with a parade unit, call the chamber office at 636-2715

The line up for this year’s parade will commence at 5:30 p.m. and will step off at 6:30 p.m. from the Elkins Depot, proceed north on Railroad Avenue to Fourth Street, then east on Fourth Street to Davis Avenue, south on Davis Avenue across Third Street to Second Street, then east on Second Street to Kerens Avenue, north on Kerens Avenue to Third Street then west on Third Street back to the depot. The idea this year is to keep the parade route within the downtown business area and close to the Town Square.

There are many details that still remain to be worked out and all help will be appreciated. A big thanks goes out to Parrack Insurance Agency and Tygart Valley Motor Co. for their sponsorship.

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We will miss Bob Teter, who retired Wednesday after 37 years of shearing locks at the Plaza Barber Shop. Bob opened his shop on Nov. 1, 1970, and has been a barbering fixture in our community since.

“I thought about retiring last year,” Bob said. “But I fooled around until it was too late. I’ve agonized a lot about quitting and decided that after 37 years, it was time to spend more time with my family. I feel like I’m letting my customers down, but I have to retire sometime and now is as good a time as any. I will miss my customers.”

Bob, you will miss your customers no more than we will miss you. Thanks for so many years of serving us, and may the best of everything come your way in retirement.





 
 
 

 

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