Paying It Forward Works

In recent years, the concept of “paying it forward” – paying for the meal of a fellow customer or the turnpike toll for the occupants of the next vehicle in line – has been popular.

Over the Christmas holidays, for instance, there were several reports from various spots across the nation of a wave of customers covering the orders of strangers waiting behind them in the drive-through lines at fast-food restaurants.

An innovative example of the “pay it forward” concept occurred in our own backyard in the recent holiday season.

Sources tell us that one night during the Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay Park, the occupants of a car viewing the light show approached the donation booth in the park, gave the suggested donation to the booth attendant, then paid the charge for the vehicle in line behind them. We’re told that the idea caught on, with festival-goers continuing to “pay it forward” for the next 51 vehicles traveling through the Oglebay line!

With the Golden Globes being presented tonight and the Academy Awards on the horizon, many people have prizes on their minds during awards season. In that light, we’ve learned that a man with Wheeling ties has won another regional Emmy Award for his work in broadcasting.

Phillip Hallenbeck of San Antonio, Texas, received his second award for regional excellence in television on Nov. 9. He is the son of Wheeling native Edith Cooper Hallenbeck, who lived in San Antonio for decades, but relocated recently to Friendswood, Texas.

His aunt, Jocelyn Cooper of Wheeling, related that Phillip won an Emmy in the graphic arts category for a promotion he created for the San Antonio Spurs basketball team this year. Previously, he won a regional Emmy for excellence in graphic arts for a documentary project in 2011.

It’s short notice, but officials of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History announced Wednesday that the division and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts “will celebrate the vitality of the arts in West Virginia” during “Arts Day at the Capitol” in Charleston from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13. However, we suppose that the staging of this event will be dependent on whether the current water crisis in Kanawha County and adjacent counties is resolved in time for the festivities.

Officials said a middle school band, choir and string band are scheduled to perform for this year’s program.

Information booths are to be staffed by representatives of more than three dozen arts organizations from across the state.

As noted in an article in today’s Life section, several events are planned in Wheeling next weekend for the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Officials of the Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission also have announced a schedule for the 2014 celebration slated to take place in Charleston Monday, Jan. 20.

This year’s events include an ecumenical service at Asbury United Methodist Church, located at 501 Elizabeth St. in Charleston, from 10:30 a.m. to noon; a bell ringing service on the State Capitol’s North Portico from 12:30 to 12:45 p.m. and a Unity in the Community musical concert at the Culture Center’s Great Hall from 3-4 p.m. that day. These events are free and open to the public to attend.

If the winter weather is giving you the blues and being cooped up at home is making you yearn for beer, The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs has a possible solution.

The resort is presenting a special weekend of “Brews and Blues” from Friday, Jan. 31, through Sunday, Feb. 2.

Officials said the event will include beer tasting, beer dinners and beer lectures accompanied by live music performances by the Adrian Duke Project and others. Featured breweries include Morgantown Brewing Co., Bridge Brew Works, Mountain State Brewing Co. and Blue Mountain Brewery.

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: lcomins@the