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Community news from around the area

Pinewood Derby happening Saturday at Rosza Pavilion at Friendship Park, Smithfield

SMITHFIELD — The Pinewood Derby that’s normally held in February at the Fort Steuben Mall in Steubenville is instead happening Saturday at an outdoor venue — the Rosza Pavilion at Friendship Park in Smithfield.

This year is a little different for the 2021 Boy Scouts of America Two Chiefs District’s annual tradition that like other organizations has been impacted by COVID-19 protocols and safety precautions.

Joe Kovaleski, longtime chairman of the event, noted, for example, that there won’t be any family Pinewood Derby races this year that normally would be held the day before the Cub Scout races, but hopefully normalcy will return for the 2022 Pinewood Derby races.

Saturday’s Pinewood Derby gets under way at 10 a.m. and continues throughout the day.

The public is welcome to watch the races that will involve boys and girls. There is no admission to do so.

“It’ll be good,” Kovaleski said Tuesday in anticipation of Saturday’s event where Cub Scouts finished with racing will be able to participate in Scout activities that troops will be providing, including fishing or visiting the inflatable BB gun range.

Major sponsors of the 2021 Pinewood Derby are the Jefferson County Fair Board, Wintersville Trophy Shop and the Ville Restaurant in Steubenville.

Switching the location was a decision made in January although initially it was thought the derby would be held May 1 at the Fort Steuben Scout Reservation, located at 79601 Adams Road in Freeport, as a more suitable site given pandemic circumstances.

That, however, did not materialize.

Derby patches are given to every racer.

Race ribbons are awarded to the heat winners.

The Two Chiefs District, Ohio River Valley Council, encompasses Brooke and Hancock counties in West Virginia and Jefferson and Harrison counties in Ohio.

It covers from New Manchester on the West Virginia side down to Bethany and on the Ohio side from Wellsville, the farthest north, down into Martins Ferry.

The derby, which involves an age range spanning from kindergarten through age 11, has been a tradition for many years locally and at one time was held at The Hub in downtown Steubenville.

Kovaleski has been involved in the derby since 1987 and became its chairman a few years later.

The 2019 derby included the participation of girls for the first time with the 2020 Pinewood Derby having its first female winner, honors that went to Reagan Huggins of Pack 334 in Weirton.

Other 2020 winners were: John “J.P.” Wilson, Pack 269, second; Jacob Ramsey, Pack 20, third; Robbie Glover, Pack 334, fourth; Roman Bowers, Pack 401, fifth; and Dugan Mills, Pack 20, sixth.

For derby information, contact Kovaleski at (740) 632-7500.

Nonperishable food offered at network’s ‘blessing box’

WELLSBURG — The Brooke-Hancock Family Resource Network has established a “blessing box” containing nonperishable food and personal hygiene items outside the Brooke County Public Library at 945 Main St.

Anyone is welcome to take what they need and add items for others.

Ruth Hawkins of the Family Resource Network said the project was launched with a grant from Southwestern Energy, while the 4-H club at the Brooke County Schools Alternative Learning Center stained and mounted the box under the supervision of Jason Rine of the Brooke County West Virginia University Extension Service office.

Visitors to the box also will find one of the Free Little Libraries established by the library. The box contains assorted books that may be taken and kept or returned after a person has read it. Those who take a book from it are encouraged to leave another in its place.

The box for the Free Little Library was built and donated by Lombardi Development in 2019.

Another was established by the library outside Spectrum Family Massage and Bodywork on Hooverson Heights in cooperation with that business.

The site was chosen because it is near the site of the library’s former Hooverson Heights branch, which was closed years ago.

Master Gardener group to hold plant sale Saturday

WEIRTON — The Tri-State Area Master Gardener Association is returning with its popular plant sale just in time for Mother’s Day.

It will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at Gabriel’s parking lot, 211 Three Springs Drive, Weirton.

Items available to purchase will be vegetables, annuals, perennials, trees, bushes, shrubs, houseplants, sun/shade plants, hanging baskets and gifts. Master Gardeners will be available for planting recommendations.

Brooke County Library plans virtual story hours for May 12

WELLSBURG — The Brooke County Public Library will present a virtual story hour at 5 p.m. May 12.

Kim Harless will instruct viewers in completing a craft using materials available for pickup at the library or its Follansbee branch.

To order them and for log-in information for the Zoom session, call (304) 737-1551 or (304) 527-0860 or visit wellsburg.lib.wv.us/newsletter2.htm.

Church Women United to mark May Friendship Day on Friday

WEIRTON — The Weirton Church Women United group will celebrate May Friendship Day on Friday at Oakland Presbyterian Church, Swearingen Hill, Weirton. The time of the program is 11 a.m.

“Agreed to Differ, Resolved to Love, United to Serve” is the theme, and Gerri Harbaugh will serve as program coordinator.

During the May celebration, the award for the 2021 Valiant women will be given, and snacks will be collected from the group for the Weirton Christian Center’s after-school program.

Rebecca “Tish” Turner is president of the Weirton group, and all are invited to the celebration.

SOAR luncheon meeting is scheduled for May 12

WEIRTON — The next Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees luncheon meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. on May 12 at Mario’s Restaurant on Main Street, Weirton.

Reservations to attend the SOAR meeting should be made by May 11 by calling (304) 797-9785 or the union hall at (304) 748-8080.

Bingo fundraiser May 15 aids Follansbee Community Days

FOLLANSBEE — A bingo game fundraiser to benefit Follansbee Community Days will be held May 15 at the Follansbee Community House.

Tickets will be $25 and must be purchased in advance by calling (919) 210-7538 or visiting Moe’s on Main, 1031 Main St., Follansbee.

The price includes dinner and 20 games of bingo. Seating is limited.

Doors open at 5 p.m., and bingo starts at 6 p.m.

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