Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To the volunteers who prepared and served the 400 meals at the First Presbyterian Church’s 20th annual Christmas Day Dinner. More than 30 volunteers assisted the Rev. Mike Seely with the dinner held in the church’s fellowship hall. The food served was donated by area stores. Volunteers served 200 walk-ins and prepared 200 dinners to go. Congratulations to Seely and the volunteers who helped continue this thoughtful Christmas tradition.

UP: To the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5108 in Marietta for its first Operation Give a Veteran a Car program. On Christmas, the VFW presented a Toyota to veteran William R. Hagy. Hagy enlisted in the military at 21 and served for 22 years with the Army, the Naval Reserves and the West Virginia National Guard. He commuted on his bike daily to the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley where he works.

UP: To seven activists from around West Virginia who were recently honored as heroes for fighting child poverty. The individuals and organizations were presented framed certificates and bright red hero capes by the Our Children, Our Future Campaign to End Child Poverty coalition during its annual meeting in Parkersburg. Those receiving recognition were Rick Hodges, Karen Williams, the Lubeck United Methodist Church in Wood County, the Taylor County Collaborative Family Resource Network and Executive Director Walesca Marrer, Rick Wilson, Rick Goff and state Sen. John Unger.

UP: To 13-year-old Skylar Bogan who distributed 150 shoeboxes filled with donated items to help those in need this past Monday at the House To Home day shelter in Parkersburg. The young Wirt County resident has been collecting items and distributing the shoeboxes since she was 10. She decided she wanted to do something after she and her mother were driving over the Fifth Street Bridge and saw tents underneath.

DOWN: To a scam claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House. A caller informs the would-be victim they won the $800 million jackpot prize and $7,000 a week for the rest of their lives, but all the winner has to do to claim their money is to mail a cashier’s check for $499 to a Texas address in a certified overnight envelope, said officials. It goes without saying that something too good to be true usually isn’t. Anyone getting these calls should call the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office in Charleston at 1-800-368-8808.