Twelfth Street Garage Legacy benefits area youth

Photo Provided The Twelfth Street Garage Corp. recently donated $100,000 to Oglebay Foundation’s Access to the Parks Fund. Attending the ceremony are, front row from left, Kim McCluskey, WesBanco Bank; Erica Harley, Vance Memorial Presbyterian Church; Robert Mead; Ray Byrd; and Mike O’Neil, First Presbyterian Church. Shown in the back row, from left, are Tom Hazlett, John Hazlett, and Eriks Janelsins, Oglebay Foundation president and CEO.

WHEELING — The Twelfth Street Garage Corp. has donated $100,000 to the Oglebay Foundation’s Access to the Parks Fund.

Claude A. Vaden owned and operated the Twelfth Street Garage for many years. He and his wife, Henrietta, left it and their estate to benefit “The Claude A. & Henrietta H. Vaden Children’s Farm Trust.”

The trust was established to instill a strong work ethic in urban youth while fostering outdoor employment and training opportunities for them. The Twelfth Street Garage Corp. and Children’s Farm Trust have been supporters of the Wheeling Park Commission for many years.

Last year, more than 230 area youth participated in the work training. The Wheeling Park Commission is the largest employer of 14- to 18-year-olds in the area. Training received through the Children’s Farm Trust is instrumental in preparing the students to retain employment during their school years.

The majority of the youth remain as seasonal employees with Oglebay and Wheeling Park, returning to summer jobs throughout their high school and college years.

Since the program’s inception, nearly 10,000 young people from the Wheeling community have participated in this innovative program. The trust also helps fund summer day camp outings for Wheeling youth and children with disabilities that otherwise would find it difficult to enjoy recreational experiences in the parks.

“Mr. and Mrs. Vaden’s vision to provide fresh-air training, work opportunities, and outdoor experiences for area youth continues to have an amazing impact on our community and our kids. They swim, fish, ski, skate, and enjoy the health benefits of being active year-round in the county’s best public parks while learning the value of hard work, critical thinking, problem solving, good communication and so much more,” Eriks Janelsins, Oglebay Foundation president and CEO, said of the program.

Oglebay Foundation’s Access to the Parks provides free admission to the recreation and educational facilities at Oglebay and Wheeling Park for Ohio County youth who meet established family income levels.

The Vadens wanted the Presbyterian Church to guide the funds of their estate. The trustees are made up of members of First Presbyterian Church and Vance Memorial Presbyterian Church. The trustees are Ray A. Byrd, William Deibert, John Hazlett, Tom Hazlett and Robert C. Mead. The trust’s funds are managed by WesBanco Bank’s Kim McCluskey, a trust officer.