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Wheeling Rotary Helps YWCA Clients Celebrate Good Times

Wheeling Rotary Club members gather at the YWCA Wheeling to present Celebration Bags to YWCA staff. Pictured from left are Rotary members Cheryl Jones, Susan Hogan, Sue Blevins, Betsy Bethel-McFarland, Larry Jones, Mary Beth Hughes, president Michael Hires, Chris Carder, vice president Joshua Lief and secretary Jamie Crow, and YWCA executive director Lori Jones and staff members Shanna Lee and Heather Lapp.

WHEELING — A service project by the Wheeling Rotary Club has provided clients at the YWCA Wheeling with party ingredients all tucked inside colorful paper sacks.

Rotary members recently delivered about a dozen Celebration Bags to the YWCA Wheeling to give to their clients. To these recipients, the celebration bags are more than the sum of their parts.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Lori Jones, YWCA Wheeling executive director. “Sometimes people come here with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Despite their difficult circumstances, they can use the contents of these bags to celebrate a new job, a personal milestone or any special occasion, such as their children’s birthdays.”

Jones noted that in the last fiscal year, the YWCA has had just as many children staying in its residential programs as adults. Sixteen children currently reside there.

“The Rotary Club of Wheeling is providing theses bags as a way to give back to the community and celebrate milestones, no matter how big or how small, in the lives of people who may be experiencing stressful times. With the help of the Save-A-Lot in Warwood, we have been able to provide cake mix, icing, cake pans and some small favors for any type of celebration,” said Chris Carder, Wheeling Rotary member who spearheaded the effort with member Trina Morgan.

Michael Hires, Wheeling Rotary president, said he brought the idea to Rotary leadership and members a couple months ago and was pleased to see it come to fruition so quickly.

In addition to Morgan and Carder, members Melynda Sampson, Susie Nelson and Larry Bandi worked on the project. Hires also thanked executive board members Desiree Lyonette, Joshua Lief, Bob Hagedorn and Jamie Crow.

“Rotary is a service club of action. We have a wonderful club of supportive volunteers,” Hires said.

“It has definitely been a worthwhile project for Rotary, and we hope to provide more bags in the future for the Soup Kitchen and Catholic Charities,” Carder said.

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