Thumbs up ... to Advent Christian Church for its continued support of area nonprofits. The church donated $500 each to The Carpenter’s Corner, Dream Center (Fishes & Loaves) and the Salvation Army. The church does not have its own food bank but raises funds to help support food banks in the area.
Thumbs up ... to reports of child abuse and neglect dropping nationwide for the fifth consecutive year. Abuse-related child fatalities are also at a five-year low, according to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data system from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Thumbs up ... to miners at Republic, Empire and Pax surface mines of Republic Energy Community Involvement Group, a subsidiary of Alpha Natural Resources, for donating their Christmas bonus money to buy gifts and provide parties for children.
Thumbs up ... to Park Middle School health and physical education teacher Angela Culicerto, named West Virginia Teacher of the Year by the U.S. Tennis Association. Culicerto, who has been teaching for 12 years, was honored for her dedication to bringing tennis to Park Middle.
Thumbs up ... to the anonymous donor who paid off 41 layaways at a Vienna Kmart to ensure families had toys and gifts for their children. The total cost topped $8,600. After learning of the action, three other people stepped up and also paid off layaways.
Thumbs up ... to the Town of Fayetteville, awarded a 2012 REAP Recycling Assistance Grant from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. The $40,000 grant will be used for personnel, an educational conference, and gravel and fencing for the recycling center area.
Thumbs up ... to a 9-year-old West Virginia chess whiz being added to the 2013 All-American Team. Advait “Adi” Patel, of Logan, is joining a team made up of the very best players under the age of 18. His next competition will be the North American Open, the biggest tournament in the country, in Las Vegas.