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United Way begins fundraising season with spring dance

April 3, 2009
By Wayne Sheets Contributing Business Writer

The only place to be on Saturday evening, April 18, is the National Guard Armory dancing to the music of Encore Party Band. The East Coast's hottest party band will be performing at the Randolph County United Way's third annual Spring Dance Fever, which promises to be "the" dancing event of the season.

Encore has more than 12 years of entertaining experience, which contributes to its dynamic sound, audience participation and crowd-pleasing atmosphere. The band hails from Roanoke and employs the latest in audio and visual technology, making it one of Virginia's top performing musical acts.

Admission to the BYOB party is $25 per person and includes an hors d'oeuvre buffet sponsored by Davis Memorial Hospital. Tables for eight may be reserved in advance for $175. There are only 400 tickets available, which may be purchased from any United Way board member, at Citizens National Bank and the United Way office on Henry Avenue in Elkins.

Keep in mind that the event will provide an evening of entertainment with old friends and an excellent way to make new ones. Beyond that, this fundraiser provides a fun-filled way of helping others.

To be remembered, also, is the fact that every dollar that goes into the United Way fund is put back into the community. The major portion of the expenses for the dance is funded through sponsorships, permitting nearly every dollar of proceeds to go to local charity. Mark this important date on your social calendar, join the fun on this very special evening, and help your community at the same time.

The evening of dining and dancing is sponsored by Citizens National Bank, Colonial Motors, Johnson Realty and Woodford Oil Co.


State and national members of the OnTrac assessment team will be in Elkins April 13 and 14 to meet with business leaders and elected officials. At 1:30 p.m. on April 13, they will begin their program with a meeting and introduction of the lead team: Randolph County Development Authority Executive Director Jennifer Giovannitti, Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ellen Spears, Downtown Merchants Association President Ed Griesel and former Elkins Mayor Judy Guye.

During the rest of the afternoon they will be treated to a walking tour of downtown Elkins, a meeting with OnTrac sponsoring key leadership and a meeting with Elkins Mayor Duke Talbott and Elkins City Council. A reception in the assessment team's honor will be at the Randolph County Community Arts Center beginning at 6 p.m. After the reception, they will attend mini performances from The Old Brick Playhouse and the American Mountain Theater.

On Tuesday, they will attend the Downtown Merchants Association meeting at 8:30 a.m. and then be off to the Elkins Depot Welcome Center's Caboose Room to conduct interviews of business leaders. The team's visit will conclude around 4 p.m. with a debriefing and presentation of departing gifts.

The importance of these two days cannot be overemphasized. This program is designed to benefit everyone in the community - businesses and private citizens alike. Everyone must come together and work toward its successful conclusion.


Here's the entertainment schedule for the Ramps and Rail Festival scheduled for April 25 in the town square. The GinSangers will take the stage at 11:30 a.m. and perform until 1 p.m. The Falling Branch String Band will perform from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. At 2:30 p.m., an Elvis impersonater will be on the scene. The Hardly Ever band, lead by Joe Danger, will perform from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Music is not all that's being featured. I hear people discussing every recipe imaginable for dishes that in some way or another contain ramps.

Of course, there will be dishes that don't contain the little smelly, onion-scallion-leek-like vegetable, too.

The festival is being sponsored by the Elkins Depot Welcome Center and the Randolph County Development Authority.

They still have openings for craft and food vendors. If you'd like a spot, call the Ramps and Rail Festival Committee at 304-636-5358 or 304-637-4667.


Judy Guye attended the Downtown Merchants meeting on March 24 as her last time as mayor. She as much as said, however, that it would not be the last time she would see everyone at those meetings.

"I have really enjoyed the merchant's meetings over the past six years and will continue to maintain an interest in what the organization does in the future," she said. "The members have done so much for the city of Elkins."

Mayor Duke Talbott was also at the meeting and mentioned that his election created a vacancy in City Council's 4th Ward. He asked that anyone who might know of a qualified candidate to fill the vacancy get in touch with him at City Hall.

The subject of a community welcome wagon came up. Everyone seemed to think that the program would make a great impression on folk moving to Elkins, whether it be first-timers or former residents returning for their retirement. Who could disagree?


The Wood Technology Center hosted an open house a couple weeks ago and it was well attended. I stopped by at the invitation of one of the members of The Central West Virginia Woodworkers Cooperative.

This organization works in partnership with the Wood Tech Center giving members the opportunity to use the equipment in the machine and tool shop.

For $35 a month, the members of the cooperative are permitted unlimited use of most of the woodworking equipment under the supervision of wood tech personnel.

Matt Wyatt who oversees operations at the Wood Tech Center said the program has been extremely well received.

He said many professional carpenters, as well as hobbyists, belong to the organization.

According to information furnished by the cooperative, the partnership was established more than 10 years ago but had become nearly inactive until it was rejuvenated in January. It was down to two or three members and now has 19.

The CWVWC was established to support existing local businesses and spur the growth of entrepreneurship in the wood products industry. Benefits include the use of more than 30 woodworking machines, free monthly skill-set seminars, free technical advice from the WVWTC staff and discounts on all classes.


The Lucky Enough band will open its season Friday. This year's performances will be on Fridays from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the ground floor of the Elks Club - same place as last year.

"You'll be happy to know that our admission price remains the same as last year," soloist and instrumentalist extraordinaire Jim Harris said. "We're looking forward to seeing you at the show."

Members include Ralph Bennett, Jim Harris, Linda Lee, "Stix" Schoonover, Harley Wood and Danny Kendrick.



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