Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Editorials

August 21, 2012

‘Keep the Doors Open” — Wade Center merits community support

The Wade Center, an invaluable resource for area families and youth in the greater Bluefield area through its after-school programs and various other services, now needs help from the community to keep its doors open.

In order to satisfy licensing requirements from the Department of Health and Human Resources, the Wade Center must raise $81,000 in the next three months or face possible closure. The “Keep the Doors Open Campaign” is now underway, and merits strong community support.

A special fund has been set up for the campaign. The hope is that many in the community will donate $81 or more toward the goal.

“This is part of DHHR requirements that we raise three months of operating costs before we open so we have opened a special account for this,” Wade Center Director Jessica McDaniel said. “All of the money needed for that $81,000 goes straight into that account. We have passed all of our licensing and application (requirements), so this is our next step. This is the last thing we need to do and we cannot open up without this money. We are just trying to get the word out to as many people as we can so we can open up after Labor Day.”

The after-school program at the Wade Center is of particular importance to troubled and at-risk youth. The program provides help with homework assignments; a healthy snack; recreational opportunities; devotions and prayer time; as well as U.S. Department of Agriculture approved hot dinners before the youngsters go home. A backpack program also ensures that healthy food is sent home with the children during the weekends.

Kevin Leedy, marketing director for Cole Chevrolet, is helping to spearhead the fundraiser campaign.

“One of the challenges is just to get as many people as possible to participate and get the word out,” Leedy said. “There are so many folks that can donate the $81 we are asking for. We are asking people to donate $81 and after they answer the challenge for them to challenge 10 friends to donate $81. We are hoping to grow it that way. We want to work with the business and church community to raise these funds.”

Despite recent challenges, the Wade Center is once again poised to be a tremendous asset to families and their children in the greater Bluefield region. But the program can only be a success if it opens in time for the long Labor Day weekend. And in order for that to happen, it will take help from the community to raise the required $81,000.

We urge all concerned citizens, community and civic groups and others to help keep the doors open at the Wade Center. Donations can be sent to PO Box 777 Bluefield, W.Va., 24701, or by visiting the Wade Center online at http://www.wadecenter.com.

Please support this worthwhile endeavor, and help to ensure a successful after-school program for area youth this fall. By working together, we can help to keep the doors open at the Wade Center and support a worthy cause.

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