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Drug Free Kids of America

June 28, 2012 - Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce
A new student representative from Magnolia High School joined the chamber board on Wednesday. Kayla Adams will represent her peers for the next 3 months by experiencing community service through her volunteer position on the board of directors. The Chamber is still seeking student representatives from the other high schools in the county.

One of the topic of discussions from the Community Engagement Committee was the importance of the Drug Free Kids of America program in our high schools. The program has been implemented with great success at Magnolia and still needs to reach many more students. The largest freshman class in a decade will be entering Magnolia this year and the DFKA program needs $1,000 per year to be sustainable. Please consider supporting this crucial program that not only rewards the kids for being drug free (testing is mandatory!) but also gives them the tools to resist the peer pressure by joining forces with others who also wish to remain drug free. If my understanding is correct, the school needs to have a resource officer on site to qualify for the program and the goal is to have this program in all of our county schools.

The Grow Local Go Local program is ahead of schedule with its first community garden in place. The program has received tremendous support from the businesses and organizations in the county with over $18,000 of in-kind contributions. The Chamber will not be renewing our current Vista's contract for the coming year so look for this program to be moved under the umbrella of another local organization and eventually to take on a life of its own when it becomes self-sustaining.

The Economic Development Committee is pursuing a combined marketing campaign highlighting businesses in Wetzel County. The campaign is still in the planning stages and may use TV and/or print media to more effectively promote buying local first. The committee is also updating the Fact Book using current census data to reflect trends and changes. The Executive Committee is working with Whitecaps Media to update the website and this information will be available online as soon as it has been completed.

Lauren Brennan, a graduate student at WVU in the MPA program, presented her plan for working in Roane and Wetzel Counties on connectivity and sustainability of business. She will be conducting a consumer preference survey as well as designing a Buy Local Guide. Expect to see Lauren periodically in the county over the next couple of months and give her whatever support she needs to complete her project as she will be helping us to become better at what we already do well.

The Valued Resources Committee reported that according to their most recent survey most businesses are reporting a better year than previously. Hallelujah! Keep on supporting your local businesses because they are the ones supporting all of your events and activities. The next event the Chamber will be hosting is the Chili-fest and once again the Wetzel County CVB will be chairing this festival the last Saturday in October. The committee is considering moving the Celebration Dinner to January but the date has not yet been finalized.

Riverfront Development Committee was not represented at this meeting however they are busy planning the Festival of Memories to be held July 21 from 4pm - 10pm on Main St. in New Martinsville. Check out their facebook event page for a listing of activities. See you all then!

Fran Caldwell reported on the American Wind Symphony which will be appearing at the Historic Wharf in downtown New Martinsville on July 11th. They are only 3 or 4 thousand dollars shy of the budget necessary for the event and still need several beds to house musicians. The musicians will be offering a free clinic at Magnolia High School for music students throughout the area. This event is free to the public - bring your own lawn chairs - but reserved seating is available for $500 per ticket. For $100 per ticket you can get a free on-board concert with either an evening wine-tasting or mid-morning brunch on a first come first served basis. This also includes a tour of the art gallery housed on the boat. (These tickets are limited and I heard one was already sold out.)

The APBA sanctioned 1/4 mile challenge is coming to the Ohio River on September 28th -30th. The committee has raised more than 1/2 of the proposed budget with more sponsors coming on board continually. We are very excited to bring the boats back to the river in a collaborative effort between the Chamber of Commerce, the CVB, Riverfront Development, APR Superleague, Wetzel County Commission, and interested citizens and businesses.

Ron Crowe is a new member of the board representing the Paden City Development Authority and Ron reported that all of the park is currently being leased. Ron and his wife Jackie own the Butterfly Inn in Paden City and Lauren Brennan stayed there and was able to enjoy the River Walk as well as ice cream from the Tasty Freeze! Lauren used that example in her presentation of how important it is that we all stay connected in order to make our businesses more sustainable.

And with that, I will again invite you to attend any of the committee meetings or the board meeting for the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce. They are FREE and open to the public. You can contact me at the email address listed, call the Chamber at 304-455-3825, visit the Chamber office on Main Street, or sign up as a volunteer on the Chamber website at We really are doing all of this without payment because we love Wetzel County just as much as you do.



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