Tim Burch got more than he expected out of a recent benefit at 14th Avenue Gospel Mission Church in Parkersburg.
Burch, pastor at the church at 4124 14th Ave., set a goal of raising $5,000 to help the Latrobe Street Mission, a homeless shelter in Parkersburg.
As it turned out, the benefit at the church in late July raised $6,800, after receiving sizable donations from Cornerstone Gospel Church in Vienna and from a member of 14th Avenue Gospel Mission Church.
"I was just expecting people to come out and support it," Burch told me. He didn't expect the dollars to keeping flowing in.
Burch invited area churches to help with the fundraiser. "Some churches helped us," he said.
Planning for the day of food, games, music and silent auction began three months ago.
It was the church's first fundraiser for the mission at 1825 Latrobe St. The shelter opened last December.
Burch said he wants to raise money for a group or organization outside the church walls. His church has its own mission projects and tries to help members of the church family.
But he wants to expand the church's reach.
Burch believes in the work of the Latrobe Street Mission to feed, clothe and shelter the homeless. Church members volunteer at the shelter and supply some meals. He has worked with the mission since it opened.
"I've watched the growing pains (at the mission)," he said. "They have made strides. They are learning and growing with the best of intentions."
Burch realizes that some people will take advantage of others' generosity and don't want to change their destructive ways.
But just because some people are homeless or down on their luck is not a reason to shun them, Burch said.
He has seen people who were stranded in town helped at the mission. And witnessed others who have made strides to turn their lives around.
His church has given clothes to mothers with young children staying at the mission.
The bottom line for Burch is the mission is "doing a fine job in trying to help people."
Kiki Angelos is directing another event to benefit the community - this time to raise money for youth education programs at the Parkersburg Art Center. Angelos, a member of the art center's board of trustees, is chairman of the "Celebrity Cooking School," featuring a six-course dinner and wine, at the Parkersburg Art Center at 6 p.m. Oct. 5. The evening will begin with appetizers provided by the Olive Garden, followed by cooking demonstrations at 6:30 p.m. and dinner served after the cooking instructions. Celebrity cooks will be Dr. Terry Shank, Dr. David Mendoza, Dr. Jose Cruzzavala, Chris Carlson of Texas Roadhouse and Dave Rudie, executive chef at Parkersburg Country Club. The fundraiser will include a silent auction and belly dancers, Angelos said. The goal is to raise $10,000 for the art center. Tickets, at $60 a person, will go on sale soon at the Parkersburg Art Center or by calling Angelos at 304-428-5586.
Family and friends gathered last Sunday in Vienna to celebrate Josephine Nocida's 97th birthday. Josephine, a wonderful woman with a beautiful smile, was born on Aug. 11, 1916, in Shinnston, Harrison County. She and her late husband, Carmelo, an immigrant from Calabria, Italy, raised seven children in Glenville. Carmelo was a cobbler. All seven children - Louie Nocida of The Villages, Fla., Mildred Short and Grace Maston, both of Vienna, Cathy Flint of Parkersburg, Mary Smith of Charleston, Frances Currey of Milton and Domenick Nocida of Wheeling - graduated from Glenville State College and attended Sunday's birthday party at Short's home. Flint, a teacher at McKinley Elementary School, said her mother always maintained a calm and even keel and believed a problem was never too big to solve. "We had a magical life growing up in Glenville," Flint said.
Contact Paul LaPann at firstname.lastname@example.org