Wirt group raises funds for children at county fair

ELIZABETH – While the rides and games continued under clear skies Saturday at the 54th annual Wirt County Fair, another group was raising funds for its mission to help Wirt County families with children stricken with serious illnesses.

In the early 1980s a group know as Robbie’s Friends raised money to help with medical expenses for Robbie Corrigan, said Linda Moss, with Robbie’s Friends.

“We started this 30 years ago for a boy with cerebral palsy and named it after him,” she said. “Now it’s for kids in the county with medical needs.”

Moss said the fund helps family with numerous expenses related to treating children’s diseases.

“We’ve paid lots of gasoline money for going to hospitals and hotel bills,” she said. “We’ve bought small equipment for newborns who need breathing machines, glasses and other items.”

Moss said 13 years ago the organization began offering a scholarship with the winner announced at the Wirt County Fair, which concluded Saturday.

“It’s a $500 no-strings-attached scholarship each year to a college student who has completed at least 28 hours of courses and maintained a 2.5 grade point average and attended Wirt County Schools for at least four years,” she said.

Moss said the student does not have to be enrolled in a West Virginia school, the only restriction being that the student must be enrolled in some sort of social service, medical or education course of study.

“It has to be in the social or medical or education field,” she said. “It has to be a field such as teaching, medical or social work, something to help others.”

Moss said those applying for the scholarship have to submit a transcript and an essay on why they should be considered for the award.

This year Moss said the group decided to offer one and a half scholarships, one for $500 and one for $300. She said the winner of the $500 scholarship was Kenna Hennen Wagner and the $300 winner was Shanel Watson.

Moss said Wagner is a student at Washington State Community College in the nursing program.

“She is a full-time student in addition to being a full-time mother and wife,” Moss said. “She runs a business and the family farm.”

Wagner said she plans to graduate from WSCC next May and a year later she plans to graduate from Ohio University as a nurse midwife and then earn her master’s degree in nursing from Ohio State University.

Wagner said the nurse midwife is similar to a nurse practitioner but with a focus on obstetrics and women’s health care and services.

“I’d like to come back to this area for my practice,” she said.