Looking for fun? Join in!
Local clubs help community, offer camaraderie
MARTINS FERRY — Those who are looking to have more fun, do some good for their community or both this year may want to get involved with one of the many social or civic clubs active in the region.
Following is a sampling of some of those clubs:
The Martins Ferry Lions Club is an active club that has taken on a variety of projects during the past few years, including building a new playground at City Park to erecting a monument wall honoring veterans from all branches of the military.
“The Martins Ferry Lions Club is a community social club that helps the city and the chamber with projects that make the city a better place to live. It is very rewarding when you build or help with the needs of the community,” said Joe Lovell, club president.
He noted the club’s mission statement is to “empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs.”
The club also recycles eyeglasses, screens the vision of school children and helps pay for eye doctor visits.
“New members are always welcome,” Lovell said, noting people can ask any member for an application. People can also visit a club meeting, held at 6:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of every month in the dining room of the Recreation Center, Fourth Street, Martins Ferry.
The Thursday Music Club in Wheeling meets once a month to enjoy a different musical performance by groups or individuals in the community.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy talented musicians, both youth and adults, from around the valley, have a delicious catered lunch, enjoy being with friends and make new friends. We offer the opportunity to sing in a beautifully talented Chorus under the direction of Anita Chops and accompanied by Debbie Breiding and perform concerts around the valley during the Christmas season and also perform a Spring Concert in April for the whole club,” said Lynn Welsh, club president and publicity chairwoman.
“We have a Study Group that meets once a month to promote a deeper appreciation of American Composition. Thursday Music Club gives two scholarships: The Gretchen McKee Award, who was a founding member of the Thursday Music Club in 1941, goes to a student of vocal music at West Liberty University, and also The Carol E. Austin Performing Arts Award in memory of Helen Pierce Elbin to a high school senior that has performed for the Thursday Music Club.
“If you love music of all kinds, join the Thursday Music Club and become involved with wonderful people. In September we have free Membership luncheon.”
For more information, call Welsh at 304-277-4730.
The Oakleigh Garden Club in Bethesda, founded in 1961, is a group for those who like share and learn more about gardening. The club meets at a different member’s house each month during warm-weather months.
Typically one member will give a presentation related to gardening, such as making a hanging basket or creating a miniature garden. Sometimes they glean inspiration from the Internet, books or magazines. There currently are about a dozen members in the club, but the group is always open to having more join. People don’t have to live in Bethesda to join. The club also annually holds the Beautify Bethesda Contest. Those who are interested can call member Marilyn Stadler at 740-484-1997.
The Adena Women’s Club celebrated its 80th anniversary last year. The club is related to the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, which can be traced to 1868 when journalist Jane C. Croly of New York City wanted to cover a dinner at a men’s only press club. However, she was told she was not welcome because she was a woman. In response to this she started the Sorosis Club for Women. Later in 1890, the General Federation was formed.
The clubs went on to lobby for various laws related to children, seat belt safety, voting rights and more. Today, the Adena Women’s Club gives scholarships to Buckeye Local High School seniors, plants flowers in the community, visits nursing homes and is involved in an international affairs project for Syrian children.
For more information, call 740-546-3786 or visit their Facebook page, “Women’s Club of Adena.”
The Belmont County Master Gardeners is a program conducted via the Ohio State University Extension Center in the county. The gardeners receive training about horticulture from the extension agent so they can volunteer to go out into the community and educate their fellow residents.
Each spring the group holds a Plant Swap with more than 100 people in attendance. During this event, vegetable and flower gardeners bring plants they are willing to give away and take plants they like from other participants.
The swap typically is highlighted by a speaker. Participants are asked to label their plants with the names and colors of the variety so people know what they are choosing.
When people arrive to the swap they are asked to check in, drop off their plants and they receive a draw number. Once a group’s draw number is called, they can pick a plant of their choice. The drawings continue until the plants are gone; most leave with three or four plants.
Plants are separated in to categories: annuals, perennials, house plants, veggies and herbs, trees and shrubs.
The Belmont County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society meets monthly (except for January and February) at the Barnesville Hutton Memorial Library, 308 E. Main St. Established n 1977, the society is open to all who are interested in learning more about their family trees and in researching their ancestors.
For more information, visit www.belmontccogs.org. Their first meeting of the year will be March 11. People may also contact the society at email@example.com; or by calling one of the following members: Sandy Saffield, 740-425-1760, firstname.lastname@example.org; Marie Bundy, 740-425-2623, email@example.com; or Ellen Brown, 740-425-1509, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cumberland Trail Genealogical Society meets in the St. Clairsville Public Library’s meeting room, 108 W. Main St. All the meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, call the library at 740-695-2062.
For those who like cars or classic cars, they can join the Ohio Valley Street Survivors, founded in 1986, or the Classy Chassis Car Club.
There is an even a club for union retirees of the former Ormet plant in Hannibal. The Ormet Retirees Club Local 5724 meets periodically at the old Hannibal Grade School. Their regular meetings include coffee and donuts and prizes. The club also hosts two summer picnics, a spaghetti dinner and a Christmas party. For information, call Larry Highly, president, at 304-997-6149.
The Wheeling Newcomers Club offers newcomers to the Wheeling area or returnees a chance to meet new people during luncheons held monthly. Call 304-242-4709 or 304-243-0164 for more information or visit their Facebook page, The Wheeling Newcomers Club.
For those who are looking to kick up their heals, the Ohio Valley Promenaders hold square and round dances at the Bellaire Public Library. The next dance is set for 7-9:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Bellaire Public Library, 32nd and Guernsey streets. The dances feature a real live caller and people can dress western or casual. For more information, call 740-676-2136.
There are numerous local chapters of the VFW and American Legion in the Ohio Valley. The clubs not only serve military veterans, but award scholarships to local students and youth groups. The valley also is home to many chapters of the Ruritans and Rotary clubs.
Esther McCoy contributed to this report.