Operation Soldier Care with Fast Change collects $40,000 for deployed troops

Fast Change Lube and Oil Inc. presented $40,000 as part of Operation Soldier Care to Military Missions on Oct. 24 representing monetary and donated items collected in support and honor of the nation’s deployed military personnel.

“Operation Soldier Care helps show our support for the military by providing them with items they may not be able to easily get while deployed,” said Fast Change President Kevin Davis. “I am proud to partner with WEMM-FM for this effort and we’re thankful for the support of our community members, customers, employees, vendors who donated to help send care packages as an expression of appreciation and gratitude.”

This year’s donations to Operation Soldier Care exceeded last year’s effort by $10,000 with 100 percent of the money collected benefitting troops. In addition to monetary donations, approved personal care items were collected at all 20 Fast Change locations to help create care packages for the troops.

Each year since 2015, Fast Change has collected donations for Military Missions from July through September as part of Operation Soldier Care and the program continues to grow.

“We want to make sure they know they have support from back home,” Davis said. “As an ongoing token of our gratitude and appreciation, Fast Change honors active military personnel and veterans with discounted services at all 20 Fast Change Lube and Oil locations.”

Military Missions is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 2005 in Lexington, Kentucky, by Beth Pennington, the mother of a Marine, and seeks to involve the community in activities and events that will give civilians an opportunity to express their gratitude for the sacrificial service of those who have worn the uniform.

Established in 1994, Fast Change Oil and Lube has grown throughout Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Virginia while striving to be the best place anywhere our customers can go for an oil change or other preventative maintenance service. With more than 20 locations and growing, Fast Change promises to treat customers with professionalism and respect, to operate with integrity and dependability, and to deliver excellence at a fair price.

Training Program for Women Completes 7th Class

The Step Up for Women Advanced Manufacturing Program has just completed its seventh successful cohort. The vocational training program has run two classes per year since its first in the summer of 2016. Dozens of women have gone through the training and found employment in local manufacturing companies.

Melinda Perron, Program Coordinator for Step Up, is pleased with how well the graduates have done. “It was nerve-wracking to run the first class back in 2016. No one knew how the class would go – this was the very first manufacturing pre-apprenticeship for women in the county. Thankfully, almost all of my students have found jobs and moved up in their careers. I’m getting to see these women go from depending on government benefits to buying their own homes.”

The class, which runs out of the Robert C. Byrd Institute on 4th Avenue in Huntington, cycles students through manual and CNC machining, shop math, manufacturing blueprint reading, and employment soft skills. The women in the program are not charged any tuition – grants and scholarships pay for the classes. There are no income limits or residency requirements either. Students often travel from Kentucky or Ohio.

Graduate income averages over $12 per hour starting wage with regular increases. Some local companies pay as much as $17 per hour for new hires. Jobs are 40 or more hours per week usually with benefits like medical and retirement. Women from 18 to 60 have been successful in the program, and Perron encourages women of color, veterans, and other minority groups to apply.

Step Up is a program of West Virginia non-profit focused on helping women become financially secure. Anyone interested in the class can apply at wvwomenwork.org/stepupamp or call 304-528-9991 for an application.

Austin’s Pet Supplies plans ribbon cutting, giveway

To celebrate a successful first six months in business, Austin’s Pet Supplies is planning a ribbon cutting with the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, along with giving away free chances to win a basket of customers’ favorite products and items valued at $250.

Austin’s Pet Supplies opened its doors on April 6 in downtown Ceredo with a mission to supply healthy, high-quality pet foods and treats close to home. Their following has grown to include customers from throughout the Tri-State area and their products have changed according to customers’ wants and needs.

“We couldn’t have done this without support from our customers,” said Brandon Austin, co-owner of Austin’s Pet Supplies. “We hope they will come and help us celebrate the past six months.”

Austin’s Pet Supplies recently extended business hours to accommodate customers’ needs. Their hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the store will be closed on Sundays. The store also offers free local delivery, grooming services, and self-bathing facilities complete with shampoo, towels and dryers.

Austin’s Pet Supplies is a pet supply store based in Ceredo, West Virginia, that offers high-quality pet foods, treats, toys and accessories. Products, specials, and information can be found at http://www.austinspetsupplies.com and follow them on Facebook at @austinspetsupplies. Austin’s Pet Supplies – Your Partners in Pethood!

ATI Training Home Inspection Institute is Offering Local Training Courses

September 7th-15th, 2019, West Virginia –The All American Training Institute (ATI Training) is excited to announce a Home Inspection Training Course in West Virginia.

“Our team is excited to bring this extensive Home Inspector Training Course to West Virginia. The average salary for a home inspector in the state of West Virginia is $43,710 per year. Those who enroll in our course will be set for a stable and rewarding career!” says Amy Newcomer, ATI Training Co-Founder

About the All American Training Institute

ATI Training was created to offer students a one-stop-shop to jump-start their career as a home inspector. The goal was to create a training program that offered superior training and a support network. ATI Training has done just that for many students over the years and is the nationwide leader in home inspector training. Training is offered in all 50 states and includes both classroom and in-field training. This course work leaves new home inspectors feeling qualified, not just certified.

Huntington Y receives Gatorade Play It Forward grant

The Huntington Y was recently awarded a $1,000 grant from the 2018-2019 Gatorade West Virginia Girls Soccer Player of the Year, and St. Joseph High School graduate, McKenzie Moran. Gatorade Play It Forward empowers Gatorade Player of the Year recipients across the country to award local or national sports organizations with grants so they can continue helping young athletes enjoy the benefits.

“We are honored McKenzie chose the Huntington YMCA for this grant,” said Brian Byrd, executive operations officer of the Huntington Y. “This grant will help our mission of strengthening our community and its families and creating a positive environment for our kids to grow and learn.”

The Gatorade Player of the Year is an athletic award program that annually recognizes student-athletes for outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character. In existence for more than 30 years, the prestigious award has honored several sports icons including Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Karl-Anthony Towns and Derek Jeter.

“The Gatorade Player of the Year award highlights student-athletes who set an example both on and off the field,” said Amanda Turak, assistant marketing manager for Gatorade Player of the Year. “The grant gives these athletes a chance to donate to organizations like the Huntington YMCA that positively impact the youth in their own communities.”

Sports have seen a double-digit decline over the past decade, largely due to tighter budgets in communities, but young people that participate in sports are found to be happier, healthier and better students. Through the Gatorade Play It Forward program, all 607 Gatorade Player of the Year award winners select a youth sports organization that will receive a $1,000 grant to help the next generation of athletes benefit from sports.

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

Help deployed troops through Operation Soldier Care with Fast Change

Join Fast Change Lube and Oil in supporting and honoring deployed military personnel this summer by sending them care packages as an expression of appreciation and gratitude.

Operation Soldier Care 2019 begins July 1 with 100 percent of the money collected benefitting troops. With the support of the communities surrounding the Fast Change locations, more than $50,000 has been raised to date.

“Operation Soldier Care helps show our support for the military by providing them with items they may not be able to easily get while deployed,” said Fast Change President Kevin Davis. “We owe them our gratitude and respect and this program is our way of showing that.”

In addition to monetary donations, approved items can be dropped off at any Fast Change location. Find a location at http://fastchangeonline.com/locations/.

The following items have been approved for sending through this program which continues through September:

Gift Items

  • Puzzle books
  • Travel games
  • Hair bands/ties
  • Small Nerf balls
  • Hacky sacks
  • Playing cards
  • Bibles (pocket size) 

Drink Items

  • Coffee
  • Hot cocoa mix
  • Powdered drink mix for bottled water
  • Tea bags

Snack Items

  • Hard candy
  • Chex Mix
  • Chewing gum
  • Twizzlers
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Trail mix
  • Beef jerky
  • Snack bars
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Slim Jim’s
  • Popcorn

Personal Care Items

  • Baby wipes (no tubs)
  • Nasal saline spray
  • Tissues (pocket size)
  • Lip balm
  • Eye drops
  • Foot powder
  • Socks
  • Vaseline
  • Boot insoles
  • Lens cleaning wipes
  • Q-Tips
  • Travel size: shampoo, lotion, and hand sanitizer (alcohol-free)

Established in 1994, Fast Change Oil and Lube has grown throughout Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Virginia while striving to be the best place anywhere our customers can go for an oil change or other preventative maintenance services. With more than 20 locations and growing, Fast Change promises to treat customers with professionalism and respect, to operate with integrity and dependability, and to deliver excellence at a fair price.

YMCA statement regarding arrest of staff member

At the YMCA of Huntington, the safety and well-being of our members, participants, and staff is a top priority. We are troubled by the recent arrest of and charges facing one of our employees. Due to the charges against him, his employment has been suspended without pay. We are deeply saddened by the alleged actions, and our thoughts are with the alleged victims.

The alleged incidents took place away from our facility and in no way involved or put at-risk children in our care.

A full criminal background check and reference check was performed on this staff member at the time of his hire, and he did not have any previous arrests or areas of concern. However, in light of this incident, we are reviewing our hiring, monitoring and training policies to ensure that YMCA of Huntington is utilizing industry-best practices and that we continue to serve Huntington and the Tri-State area with distinction and pride, as we have for more than 134 years.

The YMCA of Huntington is fully supporting the Huntington Police Department during its investigation and will continue to do so. Because there is an ongoing investigation, all questions about the alleged incidents should be directed to the Huntington Police Department.

The YMCA of Huntington is a people-focused organization committed to enriching lives and strengthening communities. Our actions are guided by our core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. These values call us to treat our employees – and all people – with compassion, fairness, and dignity.

www.huntingtonymca.org

Austin’s Pet Supplies offers delivery, pickup services

The new pet supply store in Ceredo that brings you high-quality pet food, treats and toys is now offering free delivery and pet pickup for grooming services.

Customers can simply call the store at (304) 606-2959 to arrange for product delivery to their home (within a 10-mile radius) and for pickup of their pet for grooming. These services are ideal for pet owners who cannot get out due to illness or injury or do not have transportation to the store.

“We love our customers and want to continue to provide the services they are asking for and need,” said Brandon Austin who owns the store with his wife Tori.

Customers will find a variety of high-quality and budget-friendly pet foods, treats, toys and boutique items at Austin’s Pet Supplies along with knowledgeable owners who can help with the best selection for your pet.

Austin’s Pet Supplies is a pet supply store based in Ceredo, West Virginia, that offers high-quality pet foods, treats, toys and accessories. Products, specials, and information can be found at www.austinspetsupplies.com.

Summer Reading to blast off at Boyd County Public Library

Readers of all ages are invited to explore a Universe of Stories – Endless Possibilities this summer as part of Boyd County Public Library’s summer reading program. Starting June 1, the Ashland, Catlettsburg and Kyova branches will host free weekly fun and educational space-themed programs where participants will record reading time for prizes.

“Studies show the children experience learning losses in the summer when they are not engaged in educational activities,” said Debbie Cosper, director of the Boyd County Public Library. “The library’s summer reading program helps combat that problem while treating kids to exciting and fun events and prizes for their efforts.”

Activities include parties with inflatables, Kona Ice and music, a teen lock-in and a screening of “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” as part of Pictures in the Park and Ashland Central Park. The space-themed weekly events encourage participants to learn while having fun.

Registration begins May 1 at all branches and online at https://thebookplace.beanstack.org/. Visit BCPL’s YouTube channel to find out more: https://youtu.be/96sfoLQLzxc.

The mission of Boyd County Public Library is to provide quality resources and access to information for the community. The library has locations in Ashland (1740 Central Ave.), Catlettsburg (2704 Louisa Street) and at the Kyova Mall. For more information, visitwww.thebookplace.org.

Love Your Library 5k registration under way

Registration is open for Boyd County Public Library’s annual 5K run/walk scheduled Friday, April 26.

Now in its 7th year, the Love Your Library 5K is unique in that its goal is not to raise money, but rather to bring awareness of the many services that Boyd County Public Library makes available to the community.

“It’s exciting to see that so many people support our library,” said Debbie Cosper, director of the Boyd County Public Library. “A strong library helps create a strong community and with their support, our community is helping us grow our services.”

The event will take place Boyd County Public Library main branch at 1740 Central Ave. in Ashland and features a 1.25-mile walk beginning at 6 p.m. with the 5K starting at 7 p.m. Trophies will be awarded to the first two overall male and female 5K finishers and first three finishers in each male and female age group (14 age groups overall). All participants will receive an official race T-shirt and a BCPL swag bag.

To register, visit any Boyd County Public Library location or go to www.tristateracer.com. The mission of Boyd County Public Library is to provide quality resources and access to information for the community. The library has locations in Ashland (1740 Central Ave.), Catlettsburg (2704 Louisa Street) and at the Kyova Mall. For more information, visit www.thebookplace.org.