WEBER CITY – Christmas arrived two days earlier in Wadlow Gap in Scott County this year.
Nearly 150 area children in two states and three counties (Scott, Sullivan and Hawkins) and their families received more than $ 61,000 in gifts Thursday afternoon and evening, mainly through a Tri-Cities Ruritan club and its bingo operation just across Virginia. Tennessee line.
OTHER PROGRAM ASSISTANCE
In addition, Cardinal Glass, the Hawkins County “glass factory” near Surgoinsville, donated $ 6,000 to help the club help some children and families in Hawkins County. The club also delivered gifts to two area nursing homes on Thursday.
The Wadlow Gap Ruritan Club uses the proceeds from bingo games throughout the year to fund the Christmas Project and other charitable activities. Club president Janet Edwards said the aid amounted to more than $ 200,000 this year.
“By the end of the year, we will have over $ 200,000 that has been spent on community projects for 2021,” Edwards said, adding that the bingo operation was “closed for five months in 2020 in due to COVID restrictions by the governor of Virginia, and we elected to close five weeks this year when COVID cases increased in late summer / early fall. “
For the Christmas project, the club adopted 148 children. Of those, Edwards said 16 were adopted from a local cancer center and Hawkins County school with $ 6,000 donated by Cardinal Glass. Club member David Cavin works for Cardinal, who this year bought AGC’s old factory near Surgoinsville and continued the tradition of giving that AGC, formerly AFG, had started.
“So that leaves 132 hired by our club. These children were selected with the help of teachers and guidance counselors from Weber City, Shoemaker, Hiltons and Ketron elementary schools, Scott County Head Start, Gate City Middle School and Gate City High School, ”said Edwards.
“We bought three shirts, three pants, shoes, a coat, socks, underwear, pajamas and asked for toys for each child. In addition, Food City food certificates were given to each family. The amount of the certificate was based on the size of the family. The certificates ranged in value from $ 200 to $ 700.
WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE?
“We have had several parents and / or grandparents who were brought to tears by the freebies and then learned about the gift certificates at Food City,” Edwards said. “Experiencing this emotion on their part made all the effort and long hours worth it. We all have a passion for helping others.
For a family that lost everything in a house fire and has seven children, the extra items were quilts for the children and mother, bedside lamps, linens, cooking utensils, dishes, washing-up. silverware, cooking utensils and living room lamps.
Another family had lost everything over a family affair, which Edwards said was a mother of two. “We bought bedding for everyone, kitchen utensils, silverware, dishes, cooking utensils, blankets, towels and washcloths and other small household items,” said Edwards. The club was going to buy a bed for the mother, who does not have one, but did not because she is moving.
The club also delivered 200 gift bags to two local nursing homes, Wexford House in Kingsport and NOVA in Weber City.
“These bags contained a blanket, stuffed animal, lotion, comb and brush, hand sanitizer, non-slip socks, chap stick, Kleenex, hand wipes, deodorant, brush. toothpaste and toothpaste and word search books, ”said Edward.
“Our club spent over $ 61,000 on Christmas families and an additional $ 5,500 on nursing home gift bags,” she said.
HELPING OTHERS THROUGH BINGO
“We fundraise for all of our community projects through our bingo sessions which are held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” she said. Bingo doors open at 4 p.m. with games starting at 6 p.m. and ending around 9:30 p.m.
The cost to play bingo is $ 20 for the admission book (contains 19 games), $ 5 for each progressive game, and $ 4 for each ban game. One person can play all of the games we offer for $ 38 or just play the admission book for $ 20. The address is 1422 Wadlow Gap Hwy, Gate City, VA, and the phone number is (276) 225-0143.
The members of Wadlow Gap Ruritan who work on bingo fundraising are Janet Edwards, Kathy Babb, David Cavin, Frankie York, Jennifer Arnold, Lois Arrington, Andrea Begley, Shirl Hicks, Tom Robinson, Granville Arnold, Henry Kerns, Betty Kerns, Penny Visage and Betsy Bledsoe.
CONSIDER TAKING ALL OVER
“We spend countless hours raising funds that allow us to find ways to help our community,” said Edwards. “We’re a small group doing big things. We couldn’t do it without our dedicated employees and the most loyal bingo players. We send them a huge “thank you” for their continued support and what they know is that they are making a difference in the lives of many people. “
“We’re all exhausted because we’ve been working on it since mid-November. Now that we’re done, we have about 10 months to rest before we start all over again, ”said Edwards. “Believe it or not, we have already started purchasing the supplies for the project next year.”
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