Christmas Trees Ready for Viewing at Old Penitentiary

Twenty-two decorated Christmas Trees were unveiled Thursday night at the 24th annual Tree Gala sponsored by the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce.

Actually, there were two events at the Training Center of the former West Virginia Penitentiary, the other being a Business After Hours event sponsored by WVU Medicine/Reynolds Memorial Hospital.

Some 200 persons were in attendance.

As to the trees, they will remain at the WVP until Nov. 30, the date of the auction.

In the meantime, people can view the trees by entering the old prison grounds through the Eighth Street Wagon Gate, which is open daily, Monday through Friday. The lone exceptions are Nov. 24 and Nov. 25.

While viewing the trees, individuals can vote on their favorite tree or trees, as there are containers on the floor in front of each tree for monetary donations.

The money will go toward a charity chosen by the person who entered the winning tree.

This year, money for the tree auction will go to the Marshall County Childhood Cancer Awareness organization and the John Marshall High School “Paws for a Cause” program.

More than 100 individuals were responsible for decorating the trees, each of which has a theme.

The sponsors of the trees are by the following:

AEP–Mitchell Plant, Altmeyer Funeral Homes, Bayer Heritage Federal Credit Union, Bob’s Lunch, Capes & Tiaras, Center McMechen Elementary School, Delta Kappa Gamma Sorority, First Impression Hair Salon, Forester’s Financial, Home Town Floral & Gift Shop, Hudson Premier Physical Therapy & Fitness Center, Jean’s Workbench, Marshall County CEOs, Marshall County Childhood Cancer Awareness, Moundsville Economic Development Council (MEDC), Mike Kyre, Theresa’s Fabrics, United Bank, Valley Daughters CEO, Valley Hospice, WebBanco (Moundsville and McMechen), WVU Medicine/Reynolds Memorial Hospital.

By the way, there was an Ugly Sweater Contest for the first time, with Al Smith the winner.

While on the subject of Christmas, don’t forget this upcoming Saturday.

The 48th annual Marshall County Christmas Parade, “The Miracles of Christmas,” will be taking place. There will be co-parade grand marshals, David Knuth, a longtime Chamber of Commerce executive director; and Jim Pettit, a former Jefferson Avenue businessman.

The parade will begin from Second Street and Jefferson Avenue in Moundsville and proceed southward of Jefferson to Eighth Street, where it will disband.

Also on Saturday, the second annual Extravanga and Bazaar will be held at the former penitentiary. The entrance will be the Eighth Street Wagon Gate. There is no admission charge.

By the way, the Moundsville Chapter of the Fostoria Glass Society America is holding a raffle, with the winner to receive some 60 pieces of Fostoria ware.

The Fostoria ware is on display at the Training Center at the former penitentiary.

Proceeds from the raffle goes toward advertising of the annual Fostoria Glass Convention in June.

The Moundsville Veterans Honor Guard will hold a benefit steak fry on Saturday, to help a member who is stricken with cancer. He is a member of the American legion and a very active member of the MVHG.

The event will be held from 5-8 p.m. at American Legion Post No. 3 located at 800 First St., Moundsville.

As to the Honor Guard, it is an organization which exists strictly on donations and for the past several years the members have conducted at least 120 services for deceased veterans and their families. The Honor Guard is present and involved in many events, namely parades and functions within the communities they provide services.

Donations are vital in making this benefit a success, and any donations from anyone, businesses or organizations would be appreciated.

A Bluegrass Concert will be held at 7 p.m., Saturday at the Strand Theatre in Moundsville.

The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers and Crandall Creek will be performing bluegrass, country jazz, rockabilly and swing styles to create their tight, high-energy string band music.

Well-created original songs with emotional depth, masterful picking and resonant vocal harmonies combine to forge new territories and fresh take on Appalachian Americana music.

Proceeds from the show will benefit Helping Heroes, a veterans organization in Moundsville.

Also, non-perishable food items may be brought to the concert to be given to the Feeding Body and Soul Food Kitchen located at Simpson United Methodist Church.

For additional information and tickets contact Jerry Andrews at 304-281-5776.

“Life at the West Virginia Penitentiary: The Story of Maggie Gray,” will be the topic of a book review to be presented at 6 p.m. on Nov. 20 at the Moundsville/Marshall County Public Library’s “THINK Outside the BOOK!” program.

Author and pastor C.J. Plogger and former WVP correctional officer Maggie Gray will present a fascinating look at her experience at the old Pen.

Gray was the first female officer at the state maximum security prison and she still works part-time at the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville.

Both Plogger and Gray presented a shorter version a couple of weeks ago at a meeting of the Moundsville Lions Club, and those in attendance were pleased to learn of some of the happenings in later years of the facility.

Many of the Lions Club members had attended sporting events in their youth, and some had even played baseball, basketball and football against the inmates.

Nine years ago, the first Turkey Trot, 5k Walk/Run, took place at Grand Vue Park with four participants, and since that time the number of attendees had reached as high as 60, and this year the GVP staff is hoping for at least 100.

GVP general manager Craig White said, “We don’t get many ‘top’ runners/walkers, since it isn’t a timed event, with those taking part just doing it to have a good time.”

This the event will begin at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

While on the subject of Thanksgiving Day, there will be a free turkey dinner served from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Bob’s Lunch.

This event started at Calvary United Methodist Church, then moved Grand Vue Park, and for the past few years has been held at Bob’s Lunch.

The GVP is still involved as General Manager Craig White continues to be a server.

GVP General Manager Craig White appeared before the Marshall County Commission this past Tuesday to give the commissioners an update.

He said there are still attractions taking place, although because of the weather, the Adventure Park, which includes the Zip Line, has shut down.

White said this time year is “planning time.”

White, who is also the executive director of the Greater Moundsville Convention and Visitors Bureau, said he continues to meet with area CVB members, and state CVB staff.

He stated that while CVBs in the southeastern part of the state work to attract individuals from the Washington, D.C., area and surrounding areas, the local area tries to attract individuals from Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Columbus.

The John Marshall High School’s annual Fall Blood Drive, held in conjunction with the Central Blood Bank, will take place from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Monday in the school gymnasium.

The blood drive is open to the public and those donating blood are to bring identifcation. Proper ID is required to donate blood, this should include the donor’s full name and photo ID.

The school’s Blood Drive Club holds blood drives twice a year to raise money for scholarships. The more blood donated leads to the Central Blood Bank donating more money toward scholarships. The more blood donated leads to the Central Blood Bank donating more money toward scholarships.

Tomorrow’s goal is to match or exceed last year’s record setting scholarship money award.

All usable blood donated is used at local hospitals and thus helps local residents who need blood.

Among items on the Marshall County Board of Education agenda for Tuesday are two sports matters. One is approval of the architect for Phase I of the John Marshall Athletic Field, and the other is a lease agreement between the city of Moundsville and Marshall County Schools for use of Four Seasons Pool.

As to the meeting, it will be held at the Center McMechen Elementary at 7 p.m.


The Friends of Moundsville Parks and Recreation will be holding a quarter auction from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday at St. Francis Xavier Church’s Hall.

This past week was my birthday and one of those sending a card was my brother, whose career was that of a journalist.

The card was that of a Cat typing. It read: “Dang it…Another typo!”

Unless you have been in this business, you probably don’t know about a typo, but it was a term used frequently, especially in the composing room of newspapers. Actually, the full name was typographical error.

Also, this week our dog, Annie, passed. She was eight years old, and we had her for five of those years. Annie and I logged hundreds of miles on the Sam Shaw Walking Trail at Valley Fork Park. It only took the words, “Does Annie want to suit up,” and she was at the door, ready to go.