Almost 200 Attend FRN Family Retreat
Wetzel County Family Resource Network Coordinator Theresa Hoskins met with the Wetzel County Commission on Aug. 24 to review the annual Wetzel County FRN Family Retreat held Aug. 8 at Lewis Wetzel Park. Hoskins reported an astounding 196 people represented 49 families in attendance at this year’s day-long event which included a pool party, paddle boat rides, crafts, balloon art, karaoke, prizes, and lots of food.
Families were anxiously lined up at 2 p.m. though the retreat didn’t begin until 4 p.m. “It was a phenomenal event,” Hoskins said. “It’s wonderful and so touching.”
The Family Retreat is open to everyone, though is catered toward lower income families. With no advertising, the event was packed simply from word of mouth. The event cost just over $5,000 which provided families present with a vacation day of fun and food, as well as gift packets filled with items like water tumblers, school supplies, toys, and literature on area resource programs. Not only was the event free, FRN was even able to pay the families’ mileage to drive to Lewis Wetzel Park. Hoskins said the families were very grateful for the mileage coverage and carpooled to help cut FRN’s costs.
Hoskins noted the annual Family Retreat started 14 years ago when two families from the Hundred area attended a families conference in Canaan Valley, they came back and suggested there be a similar event held locally. Not only is the retreat fun for these families, for too many it was the first meal of the day. Hoskins reported the FRN prepared and provided: 200 hot dogs; 160 hamburgers; five gallons of iced tea and lemonade; 10 gallons of water; 15 pounds of cole slaw; 30 pounds of baked beans, hot dog sauce, and macaroni salad; and 150 individual bags of chips, pretzels, and Doritos, among many other food items.
Donations of many sorts were provided through the FRN Board of Directors; Wetzel County Cancer Coalition; West Virginia Northern Community College; New Martinsville Parks and Recreation; Miller Heating and Cooling; Believe in WV; and the Wetzel County Commission.
Also at the commission meeting, Abby Delaney from the WVU Extension Office reported the ice machine is broken at the Mollohan Center on the 4-H grounds. Delaney has received a few quotes to repair or replace the machine and the commission suggested local outlets for the purchase and servicing of a new, larger ice machine. Delaney will gather more estimates and explore all options, then present her findings to the commission in the coming weeks.