United Way efforts touch lives of all ages, in all parts of region

Chris Jackson/The Register-HeraldThe “Oh What Fun It Is To Ride” Christmas tree presented by American Electric Company won the Wonderland of Trees People’s Choice Award Friday during the auction. It also drew in the highest bidder at $3,900.

There are hundreds of ways that United Way of Southern West Virginia makes connections in our area. United Way offers fundraising power to our partner agencies, promotes charitable giving, identifies local needs and connects resources to that need, all while promoting better health, education, and financial stability to the residents in our service area. This would not be possible without the participation of the community in which we serve.  Individuals, organizations, and local businesses provide vital partnerships and experiences for individual involvement to support the causes our community cares about.  

Currently, The Resort at Glade Springs is offering United Way a portion of proceeds from ticket sales to their popular Fright Nights event. They have addressed safety concerns surrounding the pandemic and offer the experience each Friday and Saturday night throughout the remainder of October.  Tickets are available online at frightnightswv.com/tickets and frequently sell out.

As we see Halloween events close out at the end of October, we will quickly embrace the Christmas season with our 12th annual Wonderland of Trees.  The Summit Bechtel Reserve has offered a partnership for the last few years for trees to be displayed at the J.W. and Hazel Ruby Welcome Center on Route 19. This year with the safety concerns of their staff, tree sponsors, and visitors to our live auction, they have generously offered the use of the J.W. Marriott, Jr. Leadership Center inside the Summit. This building offers a large area for trees to be displayed, an auditorium to hold our live auction, and the opportunity for visitors to see the incredible facilities of the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve.  

For anyone who would like to be involved, trees are still available. Registration forms can be downloaded at unitedwayswv.org/wonderland/.  Trees will be unboxed, set up and ready for decorations at noon on Monday, Nov. 2. Trees must be fully decorated by noon on Thursday, Nov. 5. United Way will host a joint Business After Hours event with the Beckley-Raleigh County and Fayette County Chambers of Commerce on Thursday, Nov. 5. The display will be open to the public on Friday, Nov. 6, and each Friday, Saturday and Sunday until Friday, Nov. 20, when the live auction is scheduled. Visit our website at unitedwayswv.org/wonderland/ for times that the display will be open to the public. For more information about registration, email Lori Cuthbert at lcuthbert@unitedwayswv.org or call 304-253-2111.  

This event highlights the creativity and generosity of our community. Participants spend countless hours planning tree themes, creating impressive decorations, and adding additional value to their tree with gifts or experiences. Wonderland of Trees has become a favorite kickoff event for the holiday season in southern West Virginia.  

The funds generated through votes and the live auctions are part of our current fundraising campaign. Reaching our fundraising goal allows United Way to continue partnerships with local agencies providing resources to those in need as well as support of direct programs like our Equal Footing Shoe Fund and our 211 Information and Referral Hotline.  

As always, please consider joining us in living, giving, and leading UNITED.

Contributions to United Way can be made by mailing a check directly to United Way of Southern West Virginia, PO Box 5456, Beckley, WV 25801, giving securely at unitedwayswv.org or calling directly to 304-253-2111. 

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