Newtons to be honored by arts and letters

John and Jean Newton of Vienna will receive the Community Advocate of the Arts Award from the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters on Dec. 12 at the Parkersburg Country Club.

Jean has volunteered at the Actors Guild of Parkersburg for 50 years and John has been a volunteer there for almost as many years. The Newtons volunteer at the Habitat for Humanity auction, and John has won state, regional and national awards as a U.S. Youth Soccer administrator.

The Newtons were nominated for the award by Carolyn Hollendonner. The arts and letters social begins at 6 p.m. and the dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 12.

The Newtons volunteer their time to help the Actors Guild of Parkersburg, said Geoff Coward, president of the local chapter of arts and letters.

“We really appreciate the honor,” Jean said, noting she has enjoyed working at the Actors Guild for half a century.

The Actors Guild of Parkersburg is a wonderful organization, built on volunteers, that makes a significant contribution to the community, Jean said.

Jean started working at the Actors Guild around 1967 in hospitality, when the theater was on St. Marys Avenue. She then helped to design and build theater sets before becoming an assistant director for shows.

She has worked with “great mentors” at the Actors Guild such as John Lee and Abby Hayhurst, Jean said. She has directed the Guild Builders youth theater program and is now co-chair of props.

Both John and Jean have served as president of the Actors Guild Board of Trustees. John has acted in several Guild shows, including playing Abraham Lincoln twice in “Civil War.”

John is project manager for the Actors Guild of Parkersburg’s current theater restoration, which includes placing restrooms, a green room for the cast, a makeup area and an elevator in the basement, along with heating and air conditioning improvements.


Laura Foutty is inviting families to stop by Faith Fellowship Church, 750 Division St. in Parkersburg, for a Christmas gift on Sunday, Dec. 9, from 12:30 to 3 p.m.

Families can take Christmas photographs with a holiday decorated 1955 Ford F100 truck as the main prop, while additional sets will be offered in a variety of settings, said Foutty, co-pastor with her husband, Doug, of Faith Fellowship Church.

“There will be live trees, lights and many things to create the perfect Christmas photo” in the side yard of the church for family photographers, she said. Pets are welcome in the photographs.

Hot chocolate, cookies and 10 live Christmas trees will be given away in this first-year event.

In the future, Foutty said, she would like to partner with other churches on this “fun day for families.”

This might turn into a Holy Trail, showcasing God’s houses, she said.


Doug Kreinik and his sous-chef Jeremy Bungard will be cooking latkes (fried potato pancakes) from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Crystal Cafe, 402 Market St. in Parkersburg.

This is the eighth year Kreinik will prepare latkes on the deep fryer as a holiday tradition at the Crystal. The downtown restaurant is usually filled with patrons for several hours during the latke event.

A percentage of latke sales will help programs for the Avery Historic District in Parkersburg, Kreinik said. This area stretching from Market to Avery, Spring and Quincy streets contains many historical homes. The association members have run cleanup and beautification programs and home repair seminars, and are starting a community garden.


The winner in a Junior League of Parkersburg drawing this month has the choice of $1,500 or a Ravin R20 Crossbow.

Proceeds from the Dec. 16 drawing will help the Junior League of Parkersburg to continue providing the volunteers and services to community projects. Three-hundred tickets are for sale at $30 each.

Tickets are available through members or by calling Jane (304-485-2063), Katie (304-488-4139), Juli (304-615-4205) or at Das Rookhaus on Dudley Avenue.

The Junior League is working with the Circles Campaign, Habitat for Humanity, libraries, FaithLink, MAD (Making a Difference), Latrobe Street Mission, Relay for Life, a gardening project to grow food for the needy, Bountiful Backpacks and the Kids movie fest, said club president Jane Burdette.

“We have gotten a much needed roof for the Cook House, done plumbing work, a structural survey and removed a tree along with more site work, and educational programs are being planned,” Burdette said.

The organization is planning a year-long celebration with the agencies it has assisted, such as SW Resources, Westbrook, Harvest Moon Festival, the library and MOV Fellowship Home, culminating with a Charity Ball, Burdette said.

Contact Paul LaPann at