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The annual Tree of Life gift-giving event has their trees up at Judy’s Drug Store and Shop ‘n Save in Petersburg.

But what is The Tree of Life? The Tree of Life was started 11 years ago in response to a need in the community of Grant County.

Local teachers knew there were people in the community who were willing to help those struggling to provide Christmas gifts for their children. The obvious answer was to connect the two.

Coordinators simply take the wish list of a child in need and provide it to those willing to bless them at Christmas. The entire operation remains anonymous except for a few administrators.

The wish list are numbers and the gifts are dropped off to The Tree of Life volunteers who double check clothing sizes, that all gifts are new, and that siblings are receiving equal gifts.

The gifts are then all placed into a black trash bag for pick up. Volunteers just ask that gifts are wrapped with provided paper before Christmas. If there are any ornaments left on the trees, volunteers use donations to fulfill those wish lists.

The goal is to help those who are struggling, help those who are trying to help themselves, and help those who may have simply fallen into a seasonal hardship. It is hoped that the program can continue to meet every need and that the financial information doesn’t have to become a deciding factor.

If you would like to give a monetary donation you can leave a check, payable to The Tree of Life, at the gift register at Judy’s Drug Store prior to Dec. 16. Donations go towards the unfulfilled wish lists, last minute needs that always arise, and if needed and there is an excess, to provide meal baskets.

If you are looking for a way to help someone this Christmas and want to keep your giving local or just wish you still had a child to shop for, pick a name from the tree.

If you take a name, please don’t forget to shop for that child. You are the only one shopping for them, so try and fill as many items as possible on that wish list. This is an opportunity to show God’s love in a big way.

For more information contact Mary Beth Cook at 304-668-8883.

South Branch Career and Technical Center staff have selected Lena Grillo as the “Spotlight Student” for November.

Grillo is a junior at East Hardy High School and participates in the therapeutic services program at SBCTC.

She is a model student and a natural leader in her program and demonstrates this ability in her role as vice president of HOSA, the Future Health Profes- sionals organization.

In addition to serving as vice president, Grillo also played a key role in the recent blood drive sponsored by the therapeutic service classes. She managed a roster of students and teachers who signed up to provide blood donations and ensured that each had obtained the correct paperwork and identification before proceeding to the donation facility. Because of their hard work, 31 units of blood were secured.

Grillo plans to continue her education to become a registered nurse.

Potomac Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) hosted their banquet honoring drivers and staff at the Landes Ruritan Club. In attendance were employees from the five Potomac Highland counties the organization serves: Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Pendleton and Mineral.

Year of Service awards, Safe Driving recognition, the “Wheels on the Bus Award”, Drivers of the Year and Employee of the Year honors were noted by General Manager Doug Pixler.

“Our drivers of the year are two veteran employees, between them they have driven over 2 million miles, provided 200,000 rides, worked over 7,100 days, have 33 combined years of accident-free driving and will be greatly missed by their riders and all of us at PVTA, we want to wish John Stanton and David Paugh all the best.”

Grace Lutheran Church celebrated its 100th anniversary as a congregation Oct. 20.

The morning worship service with Holy Communion focused on the history and future of the church. Guests included Pastor Larry Cantu, former pastor of Grace who delivered the message.

Olga Bondiskey was assisting minister, Marie VanMeter was the organist, and Cindy Sites and Pastor Dan Warntz provided special duet music for the service.

Pastor Cantu related the history of Grace Lutheran in that it was an unusual beginning for the congregation as it was formed from the faculty and students who attended the St. John’s Academy in Petersburg.

Rev. Krause, the founder and first president of the school, came up with the idea of a high school for the South Branch of the Potomac River area in 1916. His idea was brought before the Joint Synod of Ohio and other states during their Synod Convention.

The Synod agreed on the idea and used the monies from the sale of the Seminary in Hickory, N.C. to fund the project. World War 1 halted all construction and it wasn’t until 1919 that construction could start.

The congregation met in the assembly hall of the academy, which by today’s standard, could be called a Lutheran parochial school. When the public-school system of Grant County started adding more grades to their school system, St. John’s adapted by declaring themselves a junior college and still taught the Lutheran faith as part of its curriculum.

The congregation then met in the school’s gymnasium until the school was forced to close in 1933 due to the Great Depression. The congregation moved to the Old Courthouse for services and a parcel of land that was donated to the congregation on Jefferson Avenue was sold and a new parcel was bought on Pine Street where Grace is located today. The cornerstone was laid in 1939 and Grace has been faithfully worshipping there since.

After the potluck luncheon, JoAnn Harman, president of the St. John’s Academy Alumni Association, gave a talk about the impact St. John’s had on the surrounding community of Petersburg and how many students, who would not have been able to get an education, were able to thanks to the academy.

The association offers three scholarshipa each year to a student each in Grant, Hardy and Pendleton counties who had an ancestor who is an alumni of the academy.

Though it has been gone for almost 80 years, the academy still has an influence on the community by providing for education even today.

Rosanne Harper Glover was named Church Women United’s recipient of the Key Woman Award in Petersburg. Glover was chosen at the CWU board meeting in January.

The Key Woman award is a national award of CWU, recognizing key women within the community. What defines a key woman is that many people know her and she is active in the community serving the Savior, Jesus Christ and promoting the goals of CWU.

Class of 1969 - Seated front - Mary (Berg) Keplinger, Irene (Feaster) Leatherman, Barbara (Sherman) Carr, and Nancy (Kimble) Cosco; seated second row - Sue (Thorne) Earle, Darlene (Brennan) Brooks, Jerry Kimble, Christina (Western) Becker, Brenda (Hyre) Ruddick, Nancy (Huffman) Webster, Ann (Cowger) Spurio, James Rohrbaugh, Sandi (Turner) Wille, Wanda (Smith) Stump, Dottie (Vanmeter) Arnold and Dianne (Likins) Westrom; and standing - Boyd Sites, Randall Rohrbaugh, Margaret (Amtower) Judy, Robert Schell, Eddie Goldizen, Barbara (Groves) Berg, Orlando Berg, Jaqueline (Harman) Zywicki, David Simmons, Betty (Weimer) Gainer, Joe Mohr, Mona (Hinkle) Ketterman, Ruth (Berg) Smith, Mike Riggleman, George Plauger, Bonnie (Boor) Hahn, Catherine (Reel) Burke, Treva (Moyers) Black, George Davis, Roy Berg, Sandra (Hedrick) Harris, Eleanor (Kanaley) Woolf, Mildred (Cook) Wilson, Richard Borror, Rebecca (Alt) Lanhardt, Bill Reed, Pat (Borror) Parker, Joseph Bergdoll.

The PHS Class of 1969 held their 50th year class reunion Oct. 12, at the North Fork Ruritan Club with the ladies preparing the meal.

Forty-four classmates attended plus three former teachers, Miss Bonnie Hogbin, Mrs. Barbara Smith and Mrs. JoAnn Harman.

The evening started with a social hour followed by a welcome speech from Rebecca (Alt) Lanhardt. Rick Borror provided the invocation before the meal and the closing prayer.

Following the meal, David Simmons remembered deceased class members. Barbara (Sherman) Carr and Boyd Sites reminisced with plenty of laughter from the crowd.

Sandi (Turner) Wille and Boyd Sites presented awards: Longest distance traveled to Liz (Mildred Cook) Wilson, most changed to George Plaugher, most great-grandchildren to Darlene (Brennan) Brooks, youngest grandchild to Nancy (Huffman)

Webster and longest married to Ruth (Berg) Smith. The reunion committee of Sites, Carr, Lanhardt, Treva Black, Dottie Arnold, Esther Franz, Wille and Bob Schell ask attendees to keep summer class picnic in mind.

Editor - Camille Howard;
News Editor - Erin Camp;
Advertising Manager - Tara Warner Pratt; 
Graphic Designer - Jesse Hedrick;
Print Shop Manager - Richard Knight; 
Bookkeeping - Peggy Hughes;
Circulation - Mary Simmons

© 2017-2018 Grant County Press

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