Acts of kindness were common after last Friday's severe storm in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Tim Wilson was grilling hamburgers as his wife, Sandy, and Pastor Janice Hill were providing food free of charge to anyone last Saturday afternoon in the parking lot at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 1400 Washington Ave. in Parkersburg.
First Christian Church opens the Fellowship Cafe, in the fellowship hall, to the community on the first Sunday of the month after the morning worship service, with donations going to mission work. Because the church had lost some of its electricity, last Sunday's cafe became a Saturday cookout instead.
After Sunday's service, First Christian Church decided to have another free community cookout at Mother Earth Foods, 1638 19th St. in Parkersburg, said the Rev. Hill. Dave Hawkins, a member of the church and owner of Mother Earth Foods, provided the buffalo burgers, organic beef, tuna, salmon and other food and Tim Wilson again did the grilling.
Because food in the store's freezers was starting to thaw without electricity, the frozen food had to be cooked Sunday or thrown out, Tim Wilson said. Frozen vegetables, pizza and other pre-packaged, ready-to-eat food were taken to the Salvation Army, which had refrigeration, and American Red Cross feeding station at the Belpre Volunteer Fire Department on Sunday, Hawkins said.
Tim Wilson allowed a store and neighbors on 23rd Street to use his generator for electricity during the power outage.
Rev. Hill, a Texas native, is accustomed to coping with damaging storms. She said an ice storm knocked out electricity for 12 days when she lived in northeast Oklahoma.
North Hills Mayor Bill Summers (the chemical engineer, not the attorney) was impressed by the response of town residents and local officials in the aftermath of last Friday's storm. Of the five North Hills streets blocked by trees and debris, residents had cleared four streets by the time the rain had stopped, Summers said. Residents in this Wood County town of 308 homes checked on senior citizens in the community, the mayor said. Summers said the Union Williams Public Service District, which provides water and sewage treatment for North Hills, did a "Herculean job" in making sure the town never lost water - although it came close to. Summers was grateful that county commissioner Blair Couch got him in contact with county emergency personnel and state officials so Summers could keep residents updated on the storm recovery. When the frozen food started thawing on Monday, Wedgewood Drive neighbors brought out the grills and cornhole boards to make the best of a difficult situation, Summers said. By Thursday night, three homes on North Hills Drive were still without electricity, the mayor said.
Michelle Lyons of Quincy Street said residents cannot thank the city of Parkersburg enough for clearing the street of trees and debris after the powerful storm, which sent utility poles crashing in the hilltop neighborhood. When the electricity disappeared, Quincy neighbors shared grilled hamburgers, sausage and crab cakes with each other at an impromptu block party last Saturday, Lyons said. Lyons, a realtor, said she loves her "front porch neighborhood" of nine years and remembers hearing cheers on the street when the electricity was restored around noon Wednesday.
The 16th annual "Gospel Music Reunion" at South Parkersburg Baptist Church on June 22 raised more than $2,400 for the Good Samaritan Clinic. The Southern Gospel music extravaganza featured the 53-member Gospel Music Reunion Choir and other singing groups from the Mid-Ohio Valley. "The evening was a wonderful success," with 515 people attending the two-hour show, said Chris Truman, publicity chairman and board member with the Gospel Music Reunion. "We heard many very positive comments and I believe it was a blessing to many," Truman said.
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