The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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February 24, 2013

Main Street Ronceverte helps businesses grow

Small communities around the country depend on volunteers and community organizations to enhance and promote local ventures.

One such volunteer group is Main Street Ronceverte which, along with its parent organization, the Ronceverte Development Corporation (RDC), assists existing businesses, encourages new businesses and promotes access to grant and loan programs, among other functions.

Formed in 2003, the RDC has acquired and refurbished buildings in downtown Ronceverte to encourage business investment and revitalize the city’s retail district.

Acting in concert, the two nonprofit organizations have staged such entertaining events as the recent Super Bowl Sunday football game-watching party at the Clifford Community and Recreation Center. The party offered food and entertainment, including a silent auction featuring items donated by area merchants and craftspeople.

“This successful event is a great example of the commitment that the residents of Ronceverte have made to the future of their community and the mission of the Ronceverte Development Corporation,” said Lisa Circle, who was named manager of the Main Street Ronceverte program Jan. 2.

“I’ve found it very inspiring,” she added.

The Super Sunday party raised more than $2,000, money that will go to support other Main Street programs.

Main Street Ronceverte is branching out in April with an event focusing on the rising cost of energy and the availability of renewable energy options.

The Family Energy Fair will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 20 at the Clifford Community and Recreation Center, which will be filled with exhibitors offering information on energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind power, as well as tips on reducing energy consumption and saving money on energy bills.

Additionally, the event will include information on sustainable economic development and Ronceverte’s eco-community plan covering the entire city.

Organizers promise food, fun, games, prizes and takeaways for everyone who attends.

Future plans for the Main Street program include continuing to strive to acquire and restore the deteriorating 1915 CSX railroad depot, which faces Edgar Avenue in the River City.

In order to fund such ambitious plans, Main Street Ronceverte and the RDC established the 1882 Society, which took its name from the year of the city’s incorporation.

The 1882 Society offers four levels of giving, all based on that original date. Those giving $18.82 per year are dubbed Good Citizens, while donors of $18.82 per month for a year are Founders. An annual gift of $1,882 earns the title of Benefactor, and a one-time gift of $18,820 bestows upon the donor a lifetime membership in the Society.

For more information on Main Street Ronceverte, call the Ronceverte Development Corporation at 304-647-3140, e-mail mainstreetronceverte@gmail.com or visit www.roncevertewv.com.

— E-mail: talvey@register-herald.com

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