Salvation Army’s Lt. Gene Hunt Transferred to Bluefield
Lt. Gene Hunt arrived in the Ohio Valley a year ago to become the commanding officer of the Salvation Army headquartered in Moundsville. It would be his first assignment, as a few days prior he had graduated from the Salvation Army school in Atlanta, Ga.
When a Salvation Army officer assumes a new assignment, the person or persons, doesn’t know how long the assignment will be, and in Hunt’s case he was hoping to spend several years in Moundsville, and he even brought with him a document containing a three-year goal. However, this would not be the case, as Hunt in late May was informed he was being reassigned.
So this afternoon he will be heading south to Bluefield, after having delivered the sermon in the morning at the Wheeling Salvation Army Chapel.
Hunt is a native of North Carolina and his new assignment will mean that he will be closer to “home,” but the acceptance he has received from people in the Ohio Valley over the past year and six weeks has impressed him very much.
He mentions the six weeks as that was the period of time he spent in the local area in 2015 — two weeks in November and four weeks in December — while a student at Evangeline Booth College in Atlanta.
He said, “I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Major Ed Long, (retired Salvation Army officer), who was serving as interim commanding officer of the Moundsville Corps when I first came here as a student, as well as longtime administrative assistant Nancy Yoho. They gave me a lot of good advice then, and have continued to be my mentors during the past year.”
He added, “I know that Major Long let it be known to some of his friends in the Maryland-West Virginia Division of the Salvation Army that I would like to be assigned to the Moundsville Corps and for that I’m very thankful.”
“The Moundsville Corps serves Wetzel and Tyler counties, in addition to Marshall County, and during that Christmas break assignment, I was assigned to Wetzel and Tyler counties. In addition to providing different services to families in need, the Salvation Army has a Thrift Store in New Martinsville and thus I had an opportunity to learn first-hand the operation of the store.”
It is ironic that one of his first undertakings when he came to the area last June was to relocate the Thrift Store to the Steelton area of New Martinsville, it being located in the former Radio Shack building. Hunt said, “The number of customers has increased since the relocation.”
Hunt said, “When I came here a year ago, I found out that our mailing list needed updated, thus one of my first acquaintances was Marshall County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dave Knuth, who not only provided me with an updated list, but sold me on becoming a member of the Chamber. Being a member of the Chamber, the Lions Club and Rotary Club enabled me to meet numerous individuals who I would not have had the opportunity to meet,” Hunt said.
“I enjoyed attending the Chambers’ monthly Business After Hours events, in fact, I won a door prize at the first BAF I attended,” Hunt said.
“The members of the two civic clubs (Lions and Rotary) helped me a great deal,” Hunt commented. “They both had great programs on a weekly basis, which gave me the opportunity to learn more about the area.” He added, “I was even elected as second vice president of the Lions Club, that being prior to learning that was I being reassigned.”
Another undertaking of Hunt’s was to express thanks to those who assist in different ways, whether it be manning the kettles, dressing bears, collecting food, serving on the Ladies Auxiliary or the Advisory Council, etc., as he learned on his arrival that no special event had held during the past 10 years.
Hunt set up the entire dinner, including issuing invitations, purchasing plaques, etc.
At least one individual, who will go unnamed, questioned the projected number who would be attending. Well, when it came time for the dinner, Hunt was right on the button with 73 persons in attendance, with representatives from all three counties present. The speaker for the banquet was Ed Long.
Among those in attendance at the dinner was George Smolder, the executive director of the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley. Hunt said, “Without money provided by the United Way, we would not be able to provide services to as many families as we do in Marshall and Wetzel counties.” He added, “I have tried to attend all their meetings since I have been here.”
Hunt was surprised to learn on his arrival to Moundsville that the Salvation Army had been located in Moundsville for more than 90 years, and that the building in which it is currently located was constructed in 1899, the Salvation Army having purchased the structure in 1959. Since the building is one of the oldest in Moundsville’s Historic District (Jefferson Avenue, and Seventh Street from Jefferson to Lafayette Avenue) the Moundsville Historic Landmark Commission this past year presented Hunt with a plaque to be placed on the building.
Speaking this past Tuesday at the meeting of the Moundsville Lions Club, Hunt spoke highly of the residents of Marshall County, and commended the advisor council, of which four are Lions Club members, for him the opportunity to carry out his goals. He added, “I wish I could have stayed longer.”
Mayor Eugene Saunders Sr., a member of the Lions Club and one of the advisory council members, stated, “Lt. Hunt did an outstanding job in only one year, and it was pleasure to have had him in our community.”
Both Long and Yoho commended Hunt for getting out into the communities to let people know about the services provided by the Salvation Army.
Although at least for the present time the local headquarters will not have an officer-in-charge, the doors will be opened by the same person who has been literally been opening doors the past 19 1/2 years, Nancy Yoho, whose title will be that of service center manager.
Saunders added, “Everyone knows Nancy, and I’m sure she will do a great job in her new capacity.”
The Grave Creek Mound archaeological site in Moundsville will host activities from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday which is West Virginia Day.
Special family-oriented crafts will be offered along with an all day showing of “West Virginia, A Film History,” a documentary series produced by the West Virginia History Film Project and the West Virginia Humanities Council.
Visitors will be able to make gold and blue West Virginia necklaces using beads and patterns at the Discovery Table.
Guests can also try the “West Virginia Scavenger Hunt in a Bottle,” with participants adding various small items, including a happy birthday message to a plastic bottle filled with blue and yellow rice.
Joe Wos, storyteller/cartoonist, will be performing Tuesday in Marshall County. He will first appear at 11 a.m. at the Moundsville-Marshall Public Library, then at 2 p.m. at the Benwood-McMechen Public Library. Both appearances are part of the special events offered in conjunction with the Library’s Summer Reading Program.
He will present unique programs using a blend of storytelling and live cartoon illustrations.
He is a nationally acclaimed cartoonist, stortyteller, and master maze-maker, a resident cartoonist of the Charles M. Schultz Museum and founder of Tooneum, a museum of comic and cartoon art located in Pittsburgh.
Those attending are to bring their own ideas and imagination to help with the storytelling process.
Anyone wishing additional concerning the Summer Reading Program can call the Moundsville Library at 304-845-6911.
Special summer events are sponsored by the Evan G. Roberts Trust through BB&T Bank, and the Robert Baker family.
Classic sounds of music by ‘“De’Ja’Vu” will take place Friday at Riverfront Park in Moundsville, sponsored by the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce.
The music will be from 7-9 p.m.
The concession stand will open at 5:30 p.m.
There is no charge, and those attending should bring a lawn chair or blanket.