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Brooke Rotary provides boost to charities feeding those in need

LENDING A HAND — The Brooke County Rotary Club has made a $750 donation to the backpack ministry of Wellsburg United Methodist and First Presbyterian churches, helping volunteers from the two churches to provide backpacks filled with food for children attending Brooke Primary South. On hand for the presentation were, front, from left, backpack ministry volunteers Walter and Edith Ferguson and Linda Edwards and Jerry Simpson, the club’s president; and back, Rotarians Mike DiDomenico, Dr. John Basil and Charles Bell-- Contributed

WELLSBURG — Two local charities helping to feed local residents in need have received a boost from the Rotary Club of Brooke County.

The club presented $750 to a backpack ministry conducted by members of Wellsburg First Presbyterian and United Methodist churches and $350 to the St. John Catholic Church food pantry.

The donation for the backpack ministry was accepted by Walter and Edith Ferguson and Linda Edwards, who with Dr. Dave Edwards, Patty Antill and others, fill about 25 backpacks each week for children at Brooke Primary South to take home with them for the weekend.

“People don’t realize how many kids go without food through the weekend,” said Walter.

The volunteers said their efforts also are supported by contributions from fellow church members and others.

The donation for St. John’s food pantry was accepted by Robert Paysen, a retired college professor who is among a handful of volunteers there.

Michelle Evans, who oversees the pantry, said it currently provides food and toiletries to about 140 local families throughout the year in addition to supplying Christmas food baskets around the holiday.

She said in addition to the Rotary club, the charity benefits from fundraisers held by the church and other private donations.

Evans said donations of nonperishable food and toiletries, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant, always are appreciated.

She added monetary donations and gift cards for local stores also can be used by the pantry’s volunteers to purchase perishable food to supplement meat and produce received from the Mountaineer Food Bank.

Donations may be brought to the food pantry at 2200 Charles St. between noon and 3 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Those seeking help also may come during those hours and should bring a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.

For information about the food pantry, call (304) 394-5531.

As one of many Rotary clubs throughout the world, the Brooke County club has aided people in need locally and abroad through support of local causes and Rotary International’s own programs, including one aimed at the eradication of polio.

The local club has made plans to team with others for a community cleanup this weekend in Wellsburg.

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