Circus theme for Camden Clark Foundation gala

Camden Clark Foundation is bringing the big top to Parkersburg Country Club next Saturday night.

The country club will be transformed into a vintage circus theme for WVU Medicine Camden Clark Foundation’s “Under the Big Top” Charity Gala beginning at 7 p.m.

All proceeds will go to the WVU Medicine Camden Clark Cardiology Fund with emphasis on patient education, wellness and chronic disease management.

The charity gala, in its 10th year, has raised more than $150,000 for the hospital’s Oncology, Trauma, Women’s and Children’s and Diabetes services. More than $25,000 is expected to be raised on April 13 to benefit the hospital’s cardiology services.

Keith McClung and his staff from Crown Floral in Parkersburg will turn the country club ballroom into a circus atmosphere with a ringmaster, fire-eater, sleight-of-hand person and tarot card readers, said Kim Couch, executive director of the Camden Clark Foundation.

A disc jockey will provide music for dancing in the ballroom.

A casino, featuring blackjack, roulette and craps, will be set up in the bar area with celebrity dealers, fun money and prizes.

There will be beef dishes, salmon cakes, a pasta station, macaroni and cheese with toppings, a dessert room and more culinary delights at the black tie optional gala. A pink elephant is the signature drink.

The entire Parkersburg Country Club, including the outdoor patio if the weather cooperates, has been reserved for the fundraiser. Two-hundred tickets are available.

The gala will celebrate the new two-story 26,500-square-foot cardiology services building, Medical Office Building D, at WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center.

Couch said the foundation’s new mission statement is to “identify and eliminate barriers to medical care.” Proceeds from the gala will help to accomplish this goal.

Tickets can be purchased by contacting Couch at 304-424-2200.

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Freda Kimsey said she “feels very honored they chose me” as the honoree at the Marshall University Alumni of the Mid-Ohio Valley’s scholarship fundraiser dinner April 11 at Grand Pointe Conference Center in Vienna.

Kimsey, a former resident of Wood County who now lives in Barboursville, has been an avid supporter of Marshall University for many years. She is a member of Marshall’s local Thundering Bison Club alumni chapter.

Kimsey, 83, has had season tickets to Marshall University home football games since Joan C. Edwards Stadium opened in 1991.

Kimsey displayed her Marshall pride after the Thundering Herd’s Gasparilla Bowl game victory in Tampa over the University of South Florida on Dec. 20, 2018.

On Dec. 21, Kimsey was at Huntington Tri-State Airport for a flight to Chicago to see her daughter when she saw some men asleep on the airport’s floor.

The five men were members of the Marshall football team that had defeated South Florida the night before in Tampa. They had arrived in Huntington at 4 a.m. Dec. 21 and were awaiting flights home for Christmas, Kimsey said.

On the airplane, Kimsey sat next to Anthony Anderson, a senior running back from Eden Prairie, Minn.

Kimsey noticed that Anderson was wearing a Marshall football team jacket with his number 21 on it. Kimsey was wearing a Marshall shirt and sweatshirt.

“We talked the whole way to Charlotte,” Kimsey said, where they were headed before getting connecting flights.

Anderson asked Kimsey whether she was a big fan of Marshall.

“Yes, I sure am,” Kimsey said she told Anderson.

Kimsey asked the flight attendant to recognize the Marshall football players on the plane for winning the bowl game the night before.

As the plane prepared to land in Charlotte, the flight attendant announced she had one more announcement to make.

The flight attendant announced that Marshall had won the bowl game and five players on that team were on the plane.

“The plane erupted in applause,” Kimsey said. “They were five fine young men,” Kimsey said of the Marshall football players.

Laurie Martin of Vienna, local alumni chapter president, can be contacted for tickets for next week’s dinner at 304-488-3297.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com

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