Safetytown, FBLA members receive county funds

PARKERSBURG – Wood County commissioners agreed to help fund Safetytown at Fairplains Elementary School, Williamstown business students attending a national competition and make a decision Monday on requested funding for a local golf tournament.

Students with Future Business Leaders of America told county commissioners 10 students from Williamstown and one from Parkersburg South High School won at the state level and can compete nationally in FBLA business leadership competition. The cost to go to the national competition, which is in Anneheim, Calif., is $11,000. The students said they have raised $5,600 so far, are planning more fundraisers and have contacted the school’s Partner in Education to ask for help.

Evan Fowler, Alec McIntosh and Andrew Bond, accompanied by FBLA club adviser Williamstown teacher Jill Bryant, asked commissioners Monday for any help they could provide. The commissioners agreed to donate $1,000 to the students to help pay their expenses.

“I bet there would be some local businesses that would be willing to help, and you might also contact the chamber of commerce,” said Commissioner Blair Couch.

Organizers of the Mid-Ohio Valley Golf Classic also requested funding. Proceeds from the tourney are distributed equally between Parkersburg High School’s stadium and Erickson All Sports.

“Last year we tripled the number of golfers we had. We did have about 26 individuals from out of town and we feel we would qualify for Innovative Grant funding,” said Steve Hussey. The innovative grant funding is made up of a portion of the county’s hotel/motel tax revenue, to qualify for consideration, entities have to demonstrate/document overnight stays created by an event.

The golf tournament is scheduled for May 18-19 at Woodbridge. The officials asked the commission to consider contributing $5,000.

“This is our third year, every year we’ve grown. We’ve teamed up with the West Virginia Golf Association, and I think that’s the draw,” Hussey said.

Commission President Wayne Dunn said he wanted time to consider the request.

Couch told tournament officials funding for the innovative grant funding had already been set for the year, but there was the possibility of taking funds from video lottery proceeds. The commissioners discussed giving the tournament $1,000 from lottery proceeds, and said they would finalize a decision Monday.

Also Monday, MaryAnn Osborne and several members of the North Parkersburg Kiwanis Club asked commissioners for $2,000 to help fund Safetytown at Fairplains Elementary School, scheduled for the last two weeks in June. Last year the commission allocated $1,500.

This will be the 29th year for the event. Safetytown is for children who will be entering first grade in the fall. The program served 100 children last year teaching all aspects of safety. Osborne said there is capacity for 200. The program is free for the children.

Osborne said transportation for the children has been an ongoing issue and this year the program is partnering with Easy Rider Bus System.

“The children just need to go to the bus garage and sign up and they can be bused to the program. It’s free for them,” Osborne said.

The commissioners voted unanimously to donate $1,500 for the event this year. Dunn is a member of the North Parkersburg Kiwanis Club.