Brooke Rotary gives a boost to charities that feed those in need | News, Sports, Jobs


Reach Out – The Brooke County Rotary Club donated $ 750 to the Backpack Ministry of the United Methodist and Presbyterian Churches in Wellsburg, helping volunteers from both churches provide backpacks full of food for the children attending Brooke Primary South. On hand for the presentation were, front, left, backpack ministry volunteers Walter and Edith Ferguson and Linda Edwards and Jerry Simpson, club president; and back, Rotarians Mike DiDomenico, Dr. John Basil and Charles Bell. – Contributed

WELLSBURG – Two local charities helping feed local residents in need have received a boost from the Brooke County Rotary Club.

The club donated $ 750 to a backpack ministry led by members of Wellsburg First Presbyterian and United Methodist churches and $ 350 to the pantry at St. John’s Catholic Church.

The backpack ministry donation was accepted by Walter and Edith Ferguson and Linda Edwards, who, along with Dr Dave Edwards, Patty Antill and others, fill approximately 25 backpacks each week for the children of Brooke Primary South to take home for the weekend.

“People don’t realize how many children go without food on weekends” Walter said.

The volunteers said their efforts are also supported by contributions from fellow church members and others.

The donation for the St. John’s pantry was accepted by Robert Paysen, a retired university professor who is one of a handful of volunteers there.

Michelle Evans, who oversees the pantry, said it currently provides food and toiletries to about 140 local families throughout the year, in addition to providing Christmas food baskets during the vacation.

She said that in addition to the Rotary club, the charity benefits from church-organized fundraisers and other private donations.

Evans said donations of non-perishable food and toiletries, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant, are always appreciated.

She added that monetary donations and gift cards for local stores can also be used by pantry volunteers to purchase perishable food to supplement meat and produce received from the Mountaineer Food Bank.

Donations can be brought to the pantry at 2200 Charles Street between noon and 3 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Those seeking assistance can also come during these hours and must bring a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.

For more information on the pantry, call (304) 394-5531.

As one of many Rotary clubs around the world, the Brooke County Club has helped people in need locally and abroad by supporting local causes and Rotary International’s own programs, including one aimed at eradicating polio.

The local club is planning to team up with others for a community cleanup this weekend in Wellsburg.

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