The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

May 10, 2013

Gettin’ zippy with it

No limits: 88-year-old hopes to raise funds for old church

There’s no age limit when it comes to having fun, celebrating moms or raising money for causes.

Haley Cox Bonds, 88, of Stotesbury, is proving that at noon Saturday when she takes on Burning Rock’s Express Zipline — not just for fun, but also to raise money for renovation work to the New Salem Church at Tams.

The Mother’s Day weekend fundraising events for the church and Children’s Miracle Network is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Burning Rock Outdoor Adventure Park at Tams.

Cox Bonds explained she has wanted to ride the Burning Rock Zipline for several years and approximately two years ago, she dreamed that she rode it and raised “a lot” of money for the New Salem Church.

Part of that dream is set to come true, and the public can help ensure that “a lot” of money becomes a reality, too. Burning Rock is offering discounted zipline prices during the event — $30 per person for one zip and $20 for each additional zip. For each zip, Burning Rock will donate $5 to the New Salem Church renovations.

“A lot of people think I’m crazy, and some think it’s funny,” Cox Bonds said. “I don’t want to go fast, I just want to enjoy it.”  

Her sister even thought she would try to talk her out of taking the zipline, but between raising money and not being sure if she’ll be able to do it if she waits much longer, Cox Bonds is looking forward to her noon zipline time.

Her family will be there to cheer her on, but she’s hopeful plenty of people from the community will also be there to celebrate mothers and family and have fun and, of course, do some ziplining.

“Lots of people say they want to ride, and the more people, the more money we’ll raise,” Cox Bonds commented. “We’ll all have a ball. Any time people get together, it’s good fellowship.”

Although she’s not the extreme outdoor adventure sport kind of woman, Cox Bonds was raised on a farm, enjoys spending time outside and loves the spring and summer.

Her lasting gusto might not be from just living on a farm and rearing three sons. During World War II she worked in Baltimore as a “Rosie the Riveter.”

Cox Bonds explained she attends Stotesbury Community Church, but her congregation helps support New Salem, which is in need of repairs, including a new roof and coat of paint.

The New Salem Church was established for black community members in the early 1920s and is the only community building still standing in Tams. Approximately six people regularly attend the church.

In addition to taking the zipline, Sam’s Club will be selling cookout lunches for $7 each from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. Proceeds from the lunches will go toward Sam’s Club’s nationwide effort to raise more than $100,000 for Children’s Miracle Network.

If riding on motorized vehicles through the woods is more your pace, Burning Rock is hosting a poker run between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday. The poker run is $15 for each drive and $5 for a passenger.

Reserved zip times for Saturday are still available. To reserve a zip time or pre-register for the poker run, call the Burning Rock General Store/Pro-shop at 304-683-9242.

In order to ride the zipline, a person must be at least 70 pounds and weigh no more than 250.

Burning Rock is located at 171 Burning Rock Drive in Tams, near Sophia. For more information visit

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