YSS Names Worls ‘Good Samaritan’

G. Randolph Worls is Youth Services System’s newest Good Samaritan.

Worls, chairman and chief executive officer of the Oglebay Foundation, is being honored for his lifetime of work and for helping underprivileged children gain free access to amenities at Oglebay Park and Wheeling Park. Worls will officially be recognized during the Good Samaritan Tribute Dinner at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 8 at Wheeling Park’s White Palace.

YSS youth from the Helinski Shelter, Samaritan House and Youth Achievement Center each summer spend a portion of 28 different days enjoying the parks’ recreational opportunities. Also, YSS’ annual Celebrate Youth picnic is held at Wheeling Park.

“This dedication to access for the public and the dignified and respectful way it is made available are important reasons to honor Randy Worls, and through him, the Wheeling Park Commission and Oglebay Foundation,” said YSS spokesman Mike Toothman.

“Our recognition of him is for the willingness of Wheeling Park and Oglebay Park to be open for the youth we serve. This access to their activities and facilities is a great gift to these boys and girls – and as with much of this city park system, part of Randy Worls’ life work,” Toothman added.

Worls said the foundation annually raises about $200,000 to cover the cost of allowing youth to use the parks’ facilities, such as the swimming pools. He noted last year alone 1,800 children signed up to participate in the program. Worls added donations are always being accepted by the foundation. For example, people can take advantage of the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program that allows those who donate $500 or more to write off half of that amount on their state taxes or the full amount on their federal taxes.

“In 1999 we started this program during a time when a lot of kids were not able to use these parks,” Worls said.

He noted while the Wheeling Park Commission is a separate entity, the Oglebay Foundation is in charge of raising the funds for the program.

YSS Executive Director John Moses pointed out the annual picnic at Wheeling Park has become a big event for families during the past five years.

“For some families it signals the only vacation that is affordable to them. It means a lot to them and it means a lot to us,” Moses said.

Past recipients of the Good Samaritan award include Judge George Spillers, Ron Klug, the late Lary Loew, Sister Constance Dodd, the late Ronald Mulholland, Kathleen Hogan Schenk, Dr. Bernard Grubler, Ann Thomas and the late Dr. Lee Jones.

YSS board members include Chairman Darryl Clausell, George Smoulder, Susan Hogan, E. Marc Abraham, Art Bertol, Geoff Brown, Ralph Edwards, Jim Forbes, Terri Garrett, H. Lawrence Jones, Jason Koegler, Rod Lee, Dennis Madama, Phil Redford, Wayne Smith and Ron Klug.