Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

August 16, 2012

Officials at Wade Center asking community to help keep doors open

BLUEFIELD — The Wade Center is asking for local residents to pitch in and help keep the center’s doors open through a new fundraising campaign.

Jessica McDaniel, director of the Wade Center, said the organization needs to raise $81,000 due to requirements from the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR).

“We are calling it our Keep the Doors Open Campaign,” McDaniel said. “We have a sign on our fence with a painting depicting a picture of a door that we are planning to open. When we receive $15,000 we are wanting to open the door a little bit and we have $13,000 now.”

McDaniel said a special fund has been set up for the money the center needs.

“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,” she said. “All of the money needed for that $81,000 goes straight into that account. We have passed all of our licensing and application, 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.”

According to McDaniel, the Wade Center is a very important resource for children in the Bluefield area.

“We are mainly an after school program for children in the community,” she said. “They come here to receive homework help from local teachers. They receive a healthy snack and get recreational opportunities. We have devotions and prayer times as well as USDA approved hot dinners before they go home. We have a backpack program so food is sent home with them during the weekends so they have something to eat on the weekends. It enables them to be successful in the classroom so they can look to graduate high school and have the opportunity to go to college. We are a community center working for the community’s children, so we need the community’s help to keep this program.”

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

“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 ten 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.”

Leedy said many of the services the Wade Center provides are essential for local children.

“If people look at the statistics in Bluefield, they show the high poverty rate here,” Leedy said. “If kids are successful in school and learn good habits through the services the Wade Center provides, it will help them fight against becoming one of those statistics. This will help them be successful, develop good habits and structure, and give them a proper outlet for their entire lives. Having a productive outlet at the Wade Center creates a good crowd for them to be associated with. To me, I think the food program is great helping these kids have balanced nutrition through snacks and meals. There are so many kids in our area who only get the two meals they receive at school all week. The Wade Center meets a need and the kids who are there love being there.”

Leedy said any volunteers who also want to help with the fundraiser can contact the Wade Center.

“We are preparing fliers for the fundraisers and opportunities to donate through cards,” Leedy said. “ If someone would like to receive these cards or brochures to solicit donations, they can contact the Wade Center. We would be happy to mail them out or get them printed up for them in the coming days. We are hoping church groups and other civic organizations will come on board with us.”

Donations can be sent to PO Box 777 Bluefield, WV 24701 or by going online to For more information, interested parties can call the Wade Center at 304-323-3777 or visit the center’s web site at

— Contact Kate Coil at


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