NATIONAL Volunteer Week is being observed throughout country beginning today through Saturday.
Established in 1974, it has grown in scope each year, drawing the support and endorsement of all subsequent U.S. presidents, governors, mayors and other elected officials.
It is an excellent time for all of us to applaud the efforts of volunteers and to encourage others to get involved in helping to strengthen and make better their communities.
Many hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes and other organizations, especially charitable ones, rely on volunteers for a variety of tasks.
No one can ever underestimate the value of volunteers who serve our local fire departments and emergency squads. We cannot forget those who respond in times of disasters such as hurricanes, snow and ice storms and floods. They seldom receive the credit they deserve and they never sing their own praises. Yet, they risk their very lives to save the lives and property of others.
Hopefully, during this special week, thousands of volunteers nationwide will receive recognition for their services. If you know any of them, be sure and thank them for all they do.
Be a volunteer. It can change your life and the lives of those you help. I have often said the happiest days of our lives are those when we give of ourselves to help others without expecting anything in return.
We are truly blessed in our Belmont County and Ohio Valley with a lot of people who give of their time and talents to help others. During this special week and every week, they deserve a big "Thank You" for making life better for so many others. It is a good time, too, for all of us to think about making a commitment to serve.
SPRING is here and we have seen a rebirth of nature. Leaves on the trees are starting to turn green, flowers are blooming in the yards of our neighborhoods and the grass has come alive after being dormant all winter. Mother nature is alive and well.
Although we had a little cold spell last week, it appears that warm weather is here to stay, at least for a while.
Children are out riding their bikes, jumping rope and playing basketball in some outdoor courts. Spring sports are booming and students are playing baseball, softball, tennis and participating in track and field events. Our students are talking about the end of the school year, graduation and the prom. It is a happy and carefree time for our youngsters.
THE St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its Annual Administrative Professionals Day style show luncheon on Wednesday, April 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Undos' on National Road, east of St. Clairsville. Those attending will have the opportunity to preview the latest fashions for the season from Cracker Barrell, Finish Line, Laura's Boutique, Sams Club and WalMart.
Merchants interested in displaying at the show are advised to contact the chamber office at (740) 695-9623,
There will be gifts, food, fun and door prizes. Seating is limited to 200 and reservations are required. Fee is $15 per person. For information call the chamber.
TODAY is the day for the Annual Easter Seals Telethon. It will be held from 7 a.m to 6 p.m. on WTRF-TV 7. We urge everyone to tune in and if possible, to make a generous contribution to a very worthy cause.
THE corn is in the ground at Ebberts' Farm Market, on National Road, east of St. Clairsville. We got a note from Lova Ebbert this week and she said that she and her husband, Jerry, had some corn planted. She said this time of the year she and Jerry do all the plowing and planting. Now, we will wait for the news that the corn is knee high. Keep us posted, Lova.
BELCO Works invited everyone to its Shred to Save Arbor Day event on Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Riesbeck's parking lot in St. Clairsville. You can bring your old bank statements, tax records and files (up to 75 pounds), and they will be shredded free. Everyone who brings document for shredding will receive a tree seedling and the first 50 will receive a Shred to Save t-shirt. Presenting businesses will receive 10 percent off coupon on the next shredding service.
There will be music, food and prizes at the event.
BARNESVILLE HIGH?Agricultural students recently completed the building of a child's playhouse. A group of seniors have been working on wood and metal projects in class and finished the house, complete with flower boxes, porch and windows which can be opened. Anyone interested in purchasing the house or one like it, can call the agriculture department at (740) 425-3617, ext. 5183.
BARNESVILLE and Warren Township residents are reminded that Saturday, April 24, is their Community Clean-up day. It will be held from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Residents are asked to bring their trash to the train depot parking lot.
The Community Clean-up events are sponsored by Keep Belmont County Beautiful and the Jefferson-Belmont Regional Solid Waste Authority. For more information, call KBCB at (740) 296-5376 or your local township trustees.
TECHGROWTH Ohio presents the largest assembly of business resources in the region. It is being billed as Advanced Energy - A New Opportunity for Business Growth and focuses on growing business in Appalachia.
The event is free, and will be held Friday, April 30 at the Health and Education Center of Ohio University Eastern. Networking begins at 8:30 a.m. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A light lunch will be provided.
U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson will be the keynorte speaker. Participants will meet energy experts, business innovators, community leaders and investors. Discussed will be plans for the future of energy opportunities. Also on the agendA are: Find energy incentives, cost savings and opportunities for business growth; learn how you and your business can be a part of the new "green collar" workforce; pitch your idea for a new business or innovation and receive feedback.
You can register for the event on the website: www.TechGrowthOhio.com or call (740) 593-9588 for additional information.
NEXT Sunday, April 25, is a big day for the Martins Ferry Hall of Honor.
Three prominent inductees will be enshrined in the hall in ceremonies scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Martins Ferry High School cafetorium. The inductees are the Rev. Charles A Mulhearn, pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church for 43 years, a charter member of the board of trustees of Martins Ferry Hospital, (now East Ohio Regional Hospital, and a Martins Ferry volunteer fireman; William and Angela Tolbert, business owners/operators and current business which are family owned and operated are DeLuxe Novelty and Hobby and Fashion Manor; and John Vrotsos, educator, administrator, renowned high school wrestling coach and community leader.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony. There is no charge.
Sponsor of the ceremony is Citizens Bank.