Thumbs up ... to Herndon Consolidated Elementary and Middle School students and relatives who took part in an American Cancer Society Relay for Life Walk-a-Thon honoring preschool aide Layla Graham, who is currently battling cancer. Principal Terry Shumate pledged to wear a purple wig if students raised $300 — they raised more than $2,000.
Thumbs up ... to the recent Women’s Resource Center Chair-ity auction of hand-painted Adirondack chairs. The event raised $19,000. Aspen Landscaping gave the highest bid at $3,000 for a chair featuring a portrait of Marilyn Monroe painted by Cheryl Shanks. The Peoples Choice Award was given to Concord University’s Beckley Students Services chair, which featured the “Walking Dead” cast painted by Nicole Suptic.
Thumbs up ... to the National Park Service for its plans for new trails in the New River Gorge National River area. One plan would make it possible to walk or bike from one end of the park to the other, and then back again on the other side of the river.
Thumbs up ... to Keith and Jean Hunt of Ansted, who have worked with the Fayette County Farm Protection Board to preserve their 76 acres. A conservation easement will protect the Hunt farm from future non-agriculture development in perpetuity.
Thumbs up ... to Independence Middle School students who raised $150 to fight hunger with the “Empty Bowls” project. At the Spring Concert and artwork display, ceramic bowls made by the students, with clay made possible by a Beckley Area Foundation grant, were sold with the proceeds donated to Fishes and Loaves.
Thumbs up ... to Percy W. “Perk” Berry Jr., of White Sulphur Springs, chosen the West Virginia Knight of the Year by the Knights of Columbus. Berry is an active member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in White Sulphur Springs.
Thumbs up ... to Fairlea Volunteer Fire Department for receiving $74,053 in a federal Operations and Safety grant. The department will use the funds for personal protection equipment, rescue equipment and emergency vehicles.
Thumbs up ... to managers from Pizza Hut restaurants all across southern West Virginia for volunteering their time in the community. In this area, the employees have been helping Carpenter’s Corner for the past six months. By bringing in pizza, drinks and dessert once a month to help feed people, it also helps Carpenter’s Corner stretch its own food budget.