Thumbs up ... to Beckley Quota Club’s Empty Bowls Project. Nearly 500 tickets were sold to area supporters, and each attendee took home a piece of pottery as a keepsake. Proceeds totaling $12,000 were equally divided and dispersed Tuesday to representatives of Helping Hands, Fishes and Loves, The Carpenter’s Corner and The Salvation Army.
Thumbs up ... to four Raleigh County students who were named Best of Show in the recent 2014 Raleigh County Schools Art Show. They were Tyler Clary of Bradley Elementary, Baleigh Lambert of Shady Spring Elementary, Amber Lilly of Shady Spring High School and Qian Chen of Beckley-Stratton Middle School.
Thumbs up ... to entrepreneur and philanthropist Ming Hsieh for his $250,000 donation to West Virginia University’s forensics program. The funds will support the exemplary faculty in the Forensic and Investigative Science Program over the next five years. Hsieh has given more than $5.5 million to the university.
Thumbs down ... to West Virginia being one of seven states with an increase in the number of residents receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The report by the Food and Research Action Center says 362,133 West Virginians got benefits from SNAP in February. That’s up nearly 2.5 percent from January and 3.5 percent from February 2013.
Thumbs up ... to Maxwell Hill Elementary School first-grader Natalie Gunnoe, one of 15 regional winners in the seventh annual Smart529 “When I Grow Up” essay contest, sponsored by the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office. Gunnoe was awarded a certificate and promised a scholarship in addition to winning $500 for her school. She will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win a $5,000 investment into a Smart529 account.
Thumbs up ... to 36 Raleigh County schools which have recycled 391.5 tons of materials. This year marked the 13th year schools have been recycling in the county. Shady Spring Elementary was recognized for bringing in the most aluminum cans: 889 pounds. The school received $1,000 for its efforts. Trap Hill Middle School was the Stanley Cup of Recycling award recipient, which came with a $2,000 prize. The school recycled 69,230 pounds of materials.