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Hope & Memories Earn First Place “Pay It Forward” Funds

August 8, 2018
BY TELINA FRYE - Staff Writer ( , Wetzel Chronicle

The Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce held its annual "Pay It Forward" event Monday, July 30 at the Paden City Development Authority building. Local non-profits were asked to participate in a competition for funding for a community improvement project. Public attendees were encouraged to attend and were able to vote by paying the cost of $5 at the door of the event.

The participating organizations and their projects were as follows: New Martinsville Lions Club, Happy Little Feet; New Martinsville United Methodist Church, Bags of Bounty; Olive Branch Animal Rescue & Refuge, Nancy Dobbs ABC Program - Trap, Neuter, and Release; Paden City Elementary School, Civil War Day; Sistersville First United Methodist Church, Backpack Program; Stockings of Cheer, Stockings of Cheer program; Wetzel County Hope and Memories, Operation Concession Trailer; Youth Services System, Tuel Transitional Living; YWCA of Wheeling Family Violence Prevention Program, Wetzel County Project. The $2,000 first place prize went to Wetzel County Hope and Memories; the $1,000 second place prize went to the New Martinsville Lions Club, while Sistersville First United Methodist Church received $500 for its program.

The Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce's "Pay It Forward" program was designed to support community improvement projects that benefit Wetzel and Tyler counties in West Virginia and Monroe County in Ohio. By offering this program, the Chamber wanted to thank all of its supporters and give back to the communities. There were several sponsors for the event.

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Past winners of Pay It Forward and similar Chamber events include: 2017: Necessities Barn, $2100; Paden City Marching Band Travel Fund, $1100; and Friends of Paden City Pool, $500. 2016: Stitching Sisters Quilt Guild, New Martinsville - $500. Also, in 2015, the Chamber held a similar event to what was held this year. It was called "Hands to Help. This event was for non-profits, and the winning project was titled "Rebuilding Pine Grove One Step at a Time." The Paden City Garden Club has also benefited from the Chamber's charitable events. The project "Enhancement of the City Park Butterfly Garden" was a past recipient of funds.

Monday's event began with all of the the non-profits set-up with information about their projects. Guests were encouraged to peruse the displays and receive information. Numbers were then drawn by the non-profits to determine the order that they would give their presentations. Each non-profit was given five minutes to give a presentation. After each non-profit presented their project, the judges had five minutes to ask questions. No questions or comments were allowed from the public. After all of the non-profits had given their presentation, the judges and the public were allowed to vote. All votes were then counted, and the winners were announced. The judges for the event were Brianna Hickman of Community Foundation for Ohio Valley, Jessica Rine of United Way of the Ohio Valley and Nick Munoz, Williams Energy Supervisor of Operations.



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