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News in Brief – 12/04/09

Light the House ceremony Dec. 6

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Tri-State plans to give the gift of light and love during their annual holiday open house Sunday, Dec. 6, with a Light the House ceremony.

Ronald McDonald will lead the ceremony, which honors families of seriously ill children who are staying at the Ronald McDonald House during the holiday season. It is free and open to members of the community.

“This time of year, it is especially difficult to have a hospitalized child and to be away from your home, your family and your friends,” Tanyia Oakley, Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald House, said. “Please join us and help brighten the holidays for those families at ‘The House that Love Built.’”

Refreshments and tours of the Ronald McDonald House will be available from

4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Light the House ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Tri-State has served as a home away from home for more than 9,400 families of critically ill children across southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southeastern Ohio for more than 22 years.

It is located at 1500 17th St. in Huntington.

United Way needs community support

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – United Way of the River Cities reports that with less than 30 days remaining in the 2009 annual campaign it has raised only 26 percent or $364,000 of the $1.4 million goal.

“Given the challenges our community has faced with layoffs, furloughs, and business closures, we expected that this year would be unlike years past with regards to fundraising,” said Tony Spiegelberg, 2009 Development Chair for United Way and Vice President of Poca Valley Bank. “It is our hope that those who can give will be willing to help a bit more as it is needed now more than ever.”

The 2009 Annual Campaign will close on Dec. 31. United Way is encouraging those who have not made their 2009 gift or pledge to do so today.

Gifts and pledges can be made via payroll deduction (ask your employer if this option is available), direct bill, cash, check, credit card, through ACH withdrawal. Pledges may be paid anytime in 2010.

“United Way of the River Cities is committed to supporting a vital safety net of services, as well as strategies that create long-term solutions to our area’s most pressing problems,” said Laura Gilliam, executive director. “We have made some great strides in addressing the underlying issues of these problems. This work is critical to creating a strong community.”

To make a gift call 304-523-8929 or log on to www.unitedwayrivercities.org.