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Benefit for Clay County school to be held at Town Run Brewing

By Staff | Aug 12, 2016

Music, food, drinks and silent auction are all elements of an upcoming fundraiser.

“FloodLove” is an opportunity to support the community of Bomont, West Virginia and the H.E. White Elementary School, a Clay County Community School seriously damaged by the June 23 flood in southern West Virginia.

Several homes in this small, rural community were severely damaged or destroyed in the flood. Although the H.E. White Community School building itself received minimal damage, the playground and high tunnel garden classroom were flattened and equipment largely unsalvageable.

The school’s sewage management system was ruined. The road leading to the school was destroyed, leaving chunks of broken asphalt in its place.

H.E. White Elementary school is a small, remote pre-k to 5th grade school with a student population of 112 students, all who qualify as low socio-economic status. As a designated West Virginia Community School, the facilities and staff are vital to the community at large.

According to the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Community Schools: community schools are designed with an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development, and community engagement, all of which lead to improved student learning, stronger families, and healthier communities.

Community schools offer a curriculum that emphasizes real-world learning and community engagement. Schools are centers of the community and are used for an array of services and events that serve the community at large.

At H.E. White, community functions are held in the building, medical and health clinics are offered on-site, after school enrichment programs are available for students and adults, and the playground serves the dual role of community park. The high tunnel gardens provide unique educational opportunities in science, math, health & nutrition and exposes students and community members to both entrepreneurship models and diverse, healthy foods choices. H.E. White Principal April Kerns indicates a great need for support of all kinds to get this “little school that could” back to being the key resource it has previously been for the entire community. Initially unsure of the status of school opening, Clay County Schools superintendent Kenneth Tanner now says the school will reopen on-time for the 2016-17 school year.

A plan is in place to deal with the sewage system damage and the road leading to the school should be repaired in time for opening day. FEMA will reimburse up to 75 percent of the cost of playground replacement equipment.

The goal is to provide the remaining needed funds through our Flood Love fundraising effort.

A local volunteer team has donated time and materials to restore the sites. Without additional financial support, it will be many years (if ever) before this unique community would have the needed money to purchase the replacement equipment to fully restore the playground and high tunnel educational space.

Donations received via the fundraising page prior to the event and any monies raised above and beyond the cost of this project will be directed towards other rebuilding projects in southern West Virginia.

The kick off FloodLove event will be held on Sunday, Aug. 21 from 2-10 p.m. at the Town Run Brewing Company in Shepherdstown. This family friendly event features live music and a silent auction of a variety of goods and services.

Event t-shirts, food and beverages will be available for purchase. There is a suggested donation of $15 at the door and credit cards will be accepted for both admission donations and auction purchases.

The participating bands, Town Bun Brewing Company, One Love Foundation and the Rasheed for Prosecutor campaign are major financial sponsors of this event, allowing all donations to go directly to these projects. Donations are tax deductible.

Additional event information, before and after photos of the school, the band line-up, and a list of auction items (updated regularly), as well as a link for on-line donations can be found at the Facebook Event page: FloodLove, A Benefit Event.

For more information, contact Mary Ellen Lloyd at 304-876-0805 or gregandme@ frontiernet.net.