Huntington In Bloom brightens city during COVID-19 pandemic

Every spring, the streets of Huntington come alive with bright flower pots and hanging baskets lining the streets of downtown. This year, while the ‘how’ and ‘when’ may have changed, the streets will still be filled with blooming flowers once again. 

Huntington in Bloom plans to start planting flowers again the first week of June but due to the ongoing pandemic, and the risk of volunteers contracting the virus in a group setting, volunteers will not be used to plant this year. Instead, two local landscaping businesses have stepped up to complete the work.

“The Huntington in Bloom tradition brightens Huntington every year,” said Mayor Steve Williams. “During such a difficult time to many – this is a simple way to uplift spirits and show that we are and will be open for business.”

Also, for the second year, Goodwill Industries has agreed to provide watering services. A new watering truck was purchased prior to the pandemic and will eventually be wrapped in the HIB logo.

Due to the closure of so many downtown businesses, and the number of people in the community affected by COVID-19, the “Adopt a Pot” fundraiser has been canceled this year, but donations are always accepted on our website www.huntingtoninbloom.org. 

Huntington in Bloom (HIB) is part of the City of Huntington, West Virginia and a fund of the Foundation for the Tri-State Community. A local volunteer organization, HIB was founded in 2013 to improve the quality of life in Huntington, promote community involvement and unity, and identify opportunities for improvement. HIB is responsible for the city’s year-round, seasonal decorations.

Kilmer’s Farm Market impacting Lives

Thousands of West Virginia children are receiving nutritious meals while school buildings are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the efforts of a local business owner.

Derek Kilmer, owner of Kilmer’s Farm Market at Inwood, West Virginia, delivers meal boxes to children in 10 counties in the northern part of the state. His work is part of a statewide effort to serve 1.4 million meals to children each week during the crisis in partnership with the West Virginia Public School System.

“With schools closed due to the pandemic, I had fruit spoiling and little need for my employees,” he said. “An updated business model made it possible to deliver complete meals to children who may otherwise go hungry.”

Kilmer received a Payroll Protection Program loan with the help of CNB Bank that allowed him to keep his workforce intact. The program is designed to help small businesses keep their workers employed during the coronavirus outbreak. The loans from the Small Business Association will be forgiven if all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.

“CNB Bank is fortunate to be in a position to help people when they need it most,” said Mark Harrell, President and CEO of CNB Bank. “Not only are people keeping their jobs but the added benefit in this case is that thousands of children in West Virginia can look forward to complete meals thanks to Kilmer’s Farm Market.”

CNB Bank is a full-service bank with assets over $420 million dollars. CNB Bank has eight locations including Berkeley County and Morgan County, West Virginia and Hagerstown and Hancock, MD. CNB Bank is a locally owned community bank serving the Tri-State area and has been committed to its communities for over 85 years. Being a community bank allows CNB to make decisions locally to better serve the residents and businesses of the region.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Hosting Annual Job Fair on Logan Campus

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will be hosting a job fair on Tuesday, March 10 on our Logan campus. The event will be held in Building A from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The job fair is free and open to the community. There is no participation fee, and lunch will be provided. Additional details can be found on the SWVCTC website.

Passion for community earns Fast Change national recognition

Community service is so important to Fast Change Oil & Lube that it is integrated into the way the company does business every day. Their passion to serve others in their communities has been recognized by National Oil and Lube News (NOLN), the quick automotive industry’s leading trade journal for more than 30 years.

Founder and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Davis is featured on the February 2020 cover of the magazine which highlights his lifestyle of giving and serving and helps inspire his employees to do the same.

“My heart is always to give and help others,” Davis said. “I’ve been entrusted with this business, but I’ve wanted to utilize it to help others.”

Examples of the company’s service mantra include spearheading Operation Soldier Care in 2015 to help send care packages to soldiers overseas. The effort has grown from raising $5,000 at its inception to $40,000 in 2019. The company also exceeded its goal last year in providing more than 300 free oil changes for the military on Veterans Day.

The Fast Change mission statement is integrated into the way they do business every day – “To serve with PRIDE in a manner consistent with Our Values honoring God and others in all we do.”

The NOLN article can be found at https://www.noln.net/articles/3958-serving-through-pride.

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.

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.