WEIRTON - The Marland Heights Community Association is helping to grant the wish of a former Weirton resident and brighten the holidays for more than 100 U.S. Marines currently overseas.
The local group, which was formed with the goal of raising money to save the Margaret Manson Weir Memorial Pool from being demolished, has been selling "Save the Marland Heights Pool" T-shirts as part of its efforts.
Recently, the members were contacted by a former Weirton resident who had memories of growing up in the community and going to the pool.
Members of the Marland Heights Community Association are sending their 'Save the Marland Heights Pool' T-shirts to a unit of U.S. Marines currently stationed in Afghanistan. Pictured, in front from left, Iris Himmelrick, Renee Lemal, Katherine Kolanko and Gaston Blanc. In back, association President Doug Jackson. -- Craig Howell
The woman, whose son is a U.S. Marine currently stationed in Afghanistan, purchased a shirt for him and decided to do the same for every member of his unit in time for Christmas.
"She has been sending us $15 and $30 each month out of her fixed income," association President Doug Jackson explained.
Members said they also have been receiving sponsorships for the T-shirts from other individuals and businesses, with donations coming in from California, Washington, Virginia, Florida and North Carolina.
The latest shipment of shirts was being packed up Saturday at Lickity Splits to be sent to Virginia and then to Afghanistan.
"When he comes home from Afghanistan, they want to come and swim in the pool and be carefree," Jackson said.
While this will be the final shipment of shirts to the Marines before Christmas, the association continues to raise money through the shirt sales and receipt of donations.
"We're in desperate need of help," Jackson said, adding the association recently was given a new deadline by the Weirton Park Board of Dec. 31 to have its funding together for the pool.
Jackson said the association has been applying for several grants, but many of them won't be available until the spring.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)