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$41K given to groups that help Belmont County

Photo Provided Pictured are the recipients of the Give Belmont County grant awards. More than 10 organizations are represented.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — More than $40,000 was given to a total of 10 local organizations by Give Belmont County during reception held Wednesday in St. Clairsville.

Lova Ebbert, Give Belmont County committee member, said the purpose of the competitive grants is to help groups that help Belmont County and its residents.

“There are so many things in the news that are negative, and that are negative about Belmont County. But today is all positive because of all of you guys here,” Ebbert said.

The money is overseen by the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley and is kept in the Belmont County Enrichment Fund. That fund began in 2013 as the Smith-Goshen-Rice Enrichment Fund. It was created by a group of landowners and Rice Energy as way to give back proceeds garnered from natural gas drilling lease deal payments.

“Since that time we have given more than $350,000 back to Belmont County,” Ebbert said.

Grants totaling $41,260 were awarded Wednesday to the following organizations:

Belco Works/Employment Works, greenhouse project, $2,000; Faith in Action Caregivers, Belmont County volunteer program, $2,500; First Christian Church of Barnesville, 5 Loaves Food Ministry, $1,500; Gabriel Project of West Virginia, Safe Nests for Belmont Babies, $2,000; NAMI Greater Wheeling Inc., Suicide Prevention & Support Program, $2,660; Ohio Hills Health Service, support for oral health services, $10,000; Underground Railroad Museum, support for roof repair/maintenance, $5,000; Tri-County Help Center Inc., security, safety and sanitation at agency shelters, $3,100; Wheeling Health Right, health care for Belmont County residents, $2,500; and Young Life, Belmont County Peer Group Initiative, $10,000.

Ebbert recognized and thanked donors to the fund including Carol Carpenter, Jennifer Chartier, Charlie and Janice Copley, Nolejean Green, Sharon Green, Cliff and Patricia Marcum, and William and Ruth Watkins. Ebbert also recognized her fellow committee members: Natalie Brown, Larry Cain, Gabe Hays and Neil Ruble.

All the recipients expressed gratitude for the receiving money, noting the large impact it would have on each of their organizations and the people that depend on them.

For example, Michelle Helms with the Tri-County Help Center said the money her organization was getting would help cover the cost of much-needed security camera equipment for their women’s domestic violence shelter. It also will be used to fix some electrical issues at the building as well.

Kelly Brown and Wendy Trunka of Wheeling Health Right said the money they received would continue to allow them to help the many Belmont County residents who depend on their medical services. Belmont County is the third largest user of services at Wheeling Health Right.

Sean McCartney of Young Life said the grant his group received will allow it to continue ministering to middle school students in after-school settings. It is called Wildlife Club.

“We’re there to tell them that God loves them and that they matter,” he said.

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