Parkersburg YMCA membership on the rise

The Parkersburg YMCA has increased its membership numbers, added programs and hired staff in recent months, according to the new director/chief executive officer.

Jeff Olson, chief operating officer since Feb. 1, will assume the new title at the YMCA on Broad Street on July 1.

Olson is pleased with the YMCA’s 24/7 (around-the-clock) operating hours that began April 15. “It is doing really well. It is an advantage to the members,” he said.

The number of members units (several family members can be in the unit) has increased from 1,180 in October 2018 to over 1,600 in May, Olson said. Some of the membership gain came after the Marietta YMCA closed its swimming pool, he said.

Openings remain for summer camp that begins on Monday for children in pre-kindergarten to sixth grade. The sports camp is returning this year after being dropped last year.

The YMCA has added a group fitness program that begins Monday evening at Parkersburg City Park near the swimming pool. YMCA swim lessons for youth also are beginning at the City Park pool this year.

Olson said he is optimistic about the “good” direction the Parkersburg YMCA is heading in, as it works to recover from financial challenges.

He sees the YMCA as a valuable resource that serves the community and supports kids.

Bill Niday, the new president of the Parkersburg YMCA Board of Directors, said he is excited about the great things ahead for the YMCA. The YMCA is creating and expanding programs that meet the needs of the community, he said.

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Sherry McDaniel is getting accustomed to retirement but misses the “great hairstylists” she worked with over the years and her hair salon customers.

McDaniel, 69, retired Dec. 31 after nearly 50 years as a hairstylist in Wood County. She attended Parkersburg Beauty School in 1969, owned by Wayne and Linda Stephens, and a year later went to work for them as a hairstylist at Merchant of Venus on Seventh Street in Parkersburg.

Merchant of Venus was the number one shop in town at the time, McDaniel said.

McDaniel would later work at other salons in the area, including owning shops for 25 years. She most recently worked at Ultimately You salon on Emerson Avenue.

“I loved being a hairstylist,” she said. “I miss it. It was my purpose to be one.”

McDaniel said she never regretted working in the business so long, even though it did not provide health insurance, paid vacation and retirement benefits.

She attended training sessions in New York City and Chicago to learn the newest hairstyling techniques. McDaniel said she brought instructors to her shop to teach her employees.

McDaniel styled the hair of several generations of the same family. Former customers ask her when she plans to return to hairstyling.

She wanted to mention all of the “great, great people that I have met over the years with this career.”

In retirement, McDaniel has been spending time in Florida and working out everyday at the gym.

“I want to enjoy life,” she said.

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“Jazz in the Square” in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District in Parkersburg has been postponed until Sept. 28.

The night of jazz and food at the home of Bob and Melissa Herceg, 112 13th St., had been scheduled for June 15.

The event, from 6-9 p.m., had to be moved because of health issues with members of the Smoot House Band, one of the bands scheduled to perform, said Felice Jorgeson, director of the Smoot band. Profits support the Julia-Ann Square Historic District.

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Wood County Day at Marietta College has been moved to Oct. 26 during the 1:30 p.m. football game between the Pioneers and John Carroll University at Don Drumm Stadium.

Wood County Day was originally planned for Marietta College’s home football opener against Muskingum University on Sept. 21 but was switched so Wood County alumni can be properly honored at a game, said MC Athletic Director Larry Hiser. The Sept. 21 game will have a pre-game concert and post-game fireworks, but not enough time to recognize Wood County alumni, Hiser said.

Hiser also informed the local alumni that Street & Smith’s college football edition has the Pioneers as a preseason football No. 24 selection in Division 3, Marietta College’s first top 25 ranking in sometime.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com

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