AMBUCS is fighting to stay alive in Parkersburg.
Chartered locally on March 13, 1970, AMBUCS has seen its membership drop from about 60 members to 15 members today, club officials said.
People with disabilities and others will suffer if AMBUCS is no longer around.
The organization provides wheelchair ramps and wheelchairs, helps with the Special Olympics' Summer Games in Parkersburg, provides food and clothing for families at Christmas, works at Salvation Army red kettles at Christmas, volunteers at the Very Spectacular Arts Festival, sponsors a Halloween party for special needs children and contributes to a national AMBUCS program that provides scholarships for physical therapy students.
Club members are providing water to runners today during The Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon.
AMBUCS, open to men and women 21 years of age and older, held its largest fundraiser last Saturday at Dils Riverfront Park in Vienna - the Jim "Hoggie" Andrews Memorial Reverse Drawing and Dinner. Andrews was a longtime active member in AMBUCS. His daughter Cindy Deem is vice president of the local chapter, while her son Josh Deem also is a member. Josh, 22, leads the AMBUCS' effort to pick up litter in the Dutch Ridge area three times a year.
"Dad was big on helping at the Special Olympics," Cindy Deem said at the dinner, which raised about $4,000 as all 150 tickets were sold.
Charter members Lew Pifer and Ash Broadwater worked as gatekeepers at the fundraiser. Bud Taylor, 82, charter president and former treasurer, could not attend but strongly supports AMBUCS, "a civic group that helps the handicapped."
AMBUCS meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Colombo's Restaurant. Prospective members can contact Cindy Deem at 304-428-1960.
Although Dr. Chris Polen is moving back to North Carolina, he doesn't expect the local band Hit Parade to miss a beat. Polen, a 1987 graduate of Parkersburg South High School, is lead singer in the 1980s rock cover band Hit Parade, which is the house band at the Adelphia in Marietta. Polen is joined by Dr. Matt Yoak, another Parkersburg South High grad, on lead guitar and vocals; drummer Cody Bauman and Danny Parsons, bass player and vocals. Polen, who was an intensivist at Camden Clark Medical Center for the past two years, is returning to the hospital job he had in Gastonia, N.C., before leaving for his hometown. Polen plans to keep singing in Hit Parade in the Mid-Ohio Valley and try to book the band in the Charlotte area. "Those guys (in the band) are so good, not a lot of practice is needed," Polen said. The band is performing at 7 p.m. today at the Parkersburg Homecoming.
Mike Flanagan of Vienna, recently retired executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg, contacted The News and Sentinel this week to ask area residents to donate blood to the American Red Cross. Flanagan said he was thankful to receive 10 units of blood after suffering from bleeding in his colon this month. "I am feeling 100 percent better," Flanagan said Thursday from CAMC Memorial Hospital in Charleston. Flanagan, who returned home Friday, appreciated the cards, phone calls and visits he received while in the hospital.
All nine chemotherapy rooms and the conference room at Camden Clark Medical Center now have sponsors in Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo, following a fundraiser Aug. 10 at J.P. Henry's. The program transforms drab chemotherapy rooms into vibrant and soothing places where patients receive treatments. More than 100 pieces of artwork, from local and out-of-state artists, have been donated for Rooms That Rock. Teams of volunteers will spend two weekends next month hanging artwork and painting the CCMC rooms. Bre Hughes of J.P. Henry's said she wanted to host the fundraiser because family members and friends have been affected by cancer. Susan Richardson, who worked with Hughes on the fundraiser, said she was pleased by the turnout of about 150 people and their generous contributions.
Contact Paul LaPann at firstname.lastname@example.org