WEIRTON - Less than two weeks before voters will be asked to continue a levy to support its operations, officials with the Hancock County Sheltered Workshop showed their appreciation Wednesday for many who have helped them along the way.
Workshop officials, clients, staff and many others gathered for a dinner at the Knights of Columbus to celebrate the services they provide, those who need them and those who have helped to keep them going.
The Hancock County Sheltered Workshop has been in operation for more than 50 years, working to provide opportunities to those with significant disabilities in order to enhance their quality of life and foster independence and community integration.
GUEST SPEAKER — Dan McCune, a local attorney and member of the board of directors for the Hancock County Sheltered Workshop, served as the guest speaker during Wednesday’s community dinner. The Sheltered Workshop presented four awards to groups and individuals who have supported the organization over the years. -- Craig Howell
"That's what we're all about, providing the best services for the people who need us the most," Executive Director Michael Hagg said.
In addition to operating a laundry service, which processes 3 million pounds each year, the workshop also teaches life skills to its clients, such as financial management and how to apply for a job, as well as providing civic and social activities.
The dinner served as an opportunity to thank a few of those who Hagg said have gone above and beyond to support the Workshop over the years.
Those recognized by the Hancock County Sheltered Workshop Wednesday were:
The Weirton Elks Lodge No. 1801 for outstanding service from a civic organization
Edwin J. Bowman for outstanding service from a public servant
Hancock County Savings Bank for outstanding service from a community business
Gus and Aggie Monezis for outstanding service from individuals
"These recipients do what they do for the right reasons, not the recognition," Hagg said.
Those recognized Wednesday included the Weirton Elks Lodge No. 1801 for outstanding service from a civic organization; Edwin J. Bowman for outstanding service from a public servant; Hancock County Savings Bank for outstanding service from a community business; and Gus and Aggie Monezis for outstanding service from individuals.
Dan McCune, a local attorney who serves on the Workshop's board of directors, spoke of his own involvement with the Workshop, which started 15 years ago at the urging of his godfather, Mike Andochick.
McCune explained they currently are working on a new strategic plan for the future of the Hancock County Sheltered Workshop.
"We are literally growing out of our building," McCune said.
Some of those plans include an upgrade to the physical plant at the Workshop, as well as a possible off-site business enterprise.
In addition to the laundry service, the Sheltered Workshop provides financial management programs for its clients with assistance from Hancock County Savings Bank, an annual dance organized with assistance from the Weirton Kiwanis Club, which also recently assisted in the creation of an Aktion Club for clients, and provides monthly civic activities such as sending cards to U.S. troops and assisting with the Salvation Army's kettle drive.
The Hancock County Sheltered Workshop also has formed a partnership with Bethany College, which has allowed for various field trips including a visit to one of the college's football games and a basketball game.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)