WELLSBURG - Leaders of the Brooke County Salvation Army recognized some of the many who have helped it to help those in need and an honored local veteran shared the impact the Salvation Army made on his life at the organization's annual appreciation dinner Thursday at Staffileno's on the River.
Salvation Army Major Ed Long said more than 1,000 people received help through efforts and programs of the Salvation Army Service Center in Wellsburg last year and it couldn't have done that without the support of many volunteers and donors.
Long said the assistance included providing nearly 140 boxes of food to more than 550 local residents at Thanksgiving, 150 Christmas food orders for more than 470 people and gifts for more than 210 children through its Angel Tree program.
STAR AWARD — Eagle Manufacturing was the recipient of the Brooke County Salvation Army’s Star Award, which is given each year for extraordinary support of the organization. Cindy Wilson, a staff member in the company’s accounting and sales office, accepted the award, which was presented by Salvation Army Major Ed Long, left, and advisory council member Bob Haas. The Wellsburg company was among many recognized at the Salvation Army’s appreciation dinner Thursday. -- Warren Scott
Among the many helping with the program were the owners and employees of Eagle Manufacturing, who delivered three pickup trucks full of gifts. Not only did the business adopt an Angel Tree, bearing tags on which are written the wishes of local children, but they asked for additional tags.
Cindy Wilson, a member of Eagle's accounting and sales department, said, "I called several times to get more tags. We worked together as a family and had a good time."
Long noted the Christmas campaign also benefited from the many who encouraged donations while serving as bell ringers at Salvation Army kettles.
Recognized as the top individual fundraisers were Ron Taylor, who raised about $1,500, followed by Louis Golar and John Hosler. Groups recognized as the top fundraisers were members of Brooke High School's chapter of Health Occupation Students of America, followed by the Wellsburg Kiwanis Club and Brooke County Special Olympians.
The HOSA members also raised more than $1,800 in candy sales to purchase gifts for children aided by the Salvation Army.
The Christmas campaign also was aided by WTOV-TV, which provided more than 170 coats to children through its Coats for Kids campaign.
But the Salvation Army provides aid not only at Christmas but year-round, in the form of assistance with utility bills, clothing and food. In addition to its food pantry, the Salvation Army Service Center feeds local residents through community luncheons held at noon each Wednesday and Friday.
Nora Bell, the luncheons' coordinator, said 2,975 meals were served last year through the free luncheons, which are a social opportunity for some but also a chance for some residents in need to partake of a hot, nutritious meal they might not otherwise have.
Bell said about 35 volunteers put in 1,046 hours preparing and assisting with the meals. Some don't consider themselves cooks but enjoy a sense of camaraderie with their fellow volunteers.
Among them is Norma Tarr, a retired school teacher and member of the Salvation Army's advisory council, who was recognized for putting in numerous hours at the center's kitchen each week.
Matz Malone, advisory council chairman, also took time to remember the late Bill Metzger, who served on the council for 40 years.
Malone described Metzger, who died March 1 at the age of 93, as "a fountain of wisdom and leadership" for fellow council members and "that pinch of salt in the stew of life that makes everything wonderful."
He presented a plaque of appreciation to Metzger's wife, Isabell; and daughter, Carol Lynn.
The many attending the dinner also heard from Jack Earnest, a Vietnam War veteran who applied the training he received as an interpreter during the war to missionary efforts in the country later, and has been named to the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame for his service to his country and community.
A Richmond resident, Earnest recalled that, as a boy growing up in the former Brooke County community of Power, he would join his family on visits to the Salvation Army thrift store at Wheeling's south end.
There he and his siblings would enjoy poring through an old box of toys while his parents sought clothes for them to wear for school.
"This was our Sears and Roebuck, our JC Penney, our mall," Earnest said.
He said his mother became ill and died when he was 11 and a year later, it was at the same thrift store where his father introduced him to the woman, a Salvation Army worker, who would become his new mother.
"God knows what he's doing and he sure knows about the Salvation Army," Ernest said, adding, "Thank you, Salvation Army, for being there for my family and even providing us with a wonderful mother who loved us and cared for us so well."
(Scott can be contacted at email@example.com)