Whale of a Sale to be held

PARKERSBURG – The Junior League of Parkersburg, which supports a number of community programs in the Parkersburg area, will hold its largest annual fundraiser in April.

The Junior League’s 25th annual Whale of a Sale fundraiser will be 8 a.m.-1 p.m. April 13 at the City Park Pavilion in Parkersburg.

Admission is $2 for the event, which is one of the area’s largest annual yard sales.

Admission and proceeds go to support current projects, and the group is trying to raise $4,000 this year.

At the Whale of a Sale, items such as children’s clothing, furniture, sporting goods and household items, are sold at low prices and are continually marked down throughout the day. Almost all clothing and items remaining at the end of the sale will be donated to the Latrobe Street Mission and Salvation Army.

Donating support this year are Pierce Food Co., Hertz Rent A Car & Truck, Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, JR’s Doughnut Castle and Panera Bread.

The Junior League is a women’s organization whose mission is to offer women opportunities for leadership development, service and volunteerism, community connections and genuine friendships. Over the past year, volunteer opportunities were offered by participating in the national Junior League program called “Kids in the Kitchen.”

This program teaches children how to prepare healthy snacks and the reasons that healthy eating habits are important.

The Junior League coordinated a project to remodel the toy room at the Family Crisis Intervention Center in Parkersburg.

Because the Junior League office is in the historic Cook House on Murdoch Avenue, members continued the tradition of leading tours for the public and fourth-grade students in the Wood County School System.

Community connections are formed through the women volunteering at the “Taste of Parkersburg,” taking part in “Reflections of the Past,” and participation in events and functions through the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley, Junior League members said.

One of the local league’s biggest projects has been its work over the past several years on the JuLePs Pathways Playground, an accessible playground in City Park. The first phase of the project was completed in 2012. Once the playground is fully constructed it will offer children of all abilities an opportunity for play.

The playground features special equipment for children with disabilities as well as access to the playground for parents with a physical disability or those confined to a wheelchair to allow them to watch or play with their children.

The first phase, which cost around $360,000, is primarily an area for toddlers and young children. The next phase will refurbish the old playground at City Park with equipment accessible for older children. Eventually, organizers want to put a walking track around the playground for parents to use.

Valerie Curtis, president of the JLP, said the club is working on an interim project to install a brick pathway and gazebo at the playground, which should be done this summer.

“We are also raising money for Phase 2,” she said, adding the target amount is the same as the first phase at $360,000.

The designs and plans have been completed for the second phase and the League is focused on fundraising for the project, Curtis said. About half of the money has been raised so far and the work will resume once the goal is met, she said.

The playground will be a Boundless-certified playground, the only one of its kind in West Virginia. To find out more information, visit www.boundlessplayground.org. or www.jlparkersburg.org.

JLP has a history of establishing such programs as Imagination Station, Literacy at Birth, GEMS, SW Resources, Family Crisis Intervention Center, Parkersburg-Wood County Public Library, Mid-Ohio Valley Fellowship Home, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), YMCA Teen Center, Child Behavior Clinic (now known as Westbrook Health Services), Hospice Task Force, Noah’s Arc Thrift Shop and Silent Witness program.

The Junior League of Parkersburg is a nonprofit organization of women dedicated to enriching the community with trained volunteers to impact local needs. If you have questions, call 304-422-6961.